10 months ago by Next Generation

7 Steps How You Can Write A Winning CV That Stands Out

How To Write A Winning Cv 7 Steps

How to write a winning CV in 7 easy steps

Your CV is the only thing that represents you until you meet a potential employer. You need to make sure you give yourself the best chance of landing an interview from what you write on a piece of paper.

On average, an employer will only look at your CV for about 5 seconds before deciding whether to offer you an interview or not.

You need to make those 5 second’s count!

But how?

There are 7 easy steps you can follow to make sure your CV stands out from the rest and they are:

  1. Sell yourself!

  2. Focus on measurables.

  3. Highlight your wins!

  4. Study the job description

  5. What to include and exclude in your CV?

  6. Do you need references?

  7. Don’t lie!

  8. Bonus tips

Why not download a FREE CV template to give yourself a head start?

Sell yourself!

It will come as no shock to you when we say that the job market is highly competitive. Reaching the first round of interviews for a role can be tough as only 2% of candidates get this far.

You’ve got to do everything you can to stand out by carefully curating the information you put in your CV. Let’s start with this, what makes you so special?

What is your ‘Unique Selling Point’?

Just like a product, having a USP could set you apart from your competition. It might be a particular skill, success story, or maybe you have a qualification or previous experience that will be beneficial to the role and put you ahead of the competition.

Think of applying for a job like a sales scenario where the employer is the customer, and you are the salesman.

Why should they buy from you?

What is different from what you have to offer compared to other people?

When you’ve identified your unique selling point, highlight it on your CV. Keep it compelling enough for a potential employer to be interested in and give them no choice but to schedule an interview with you.

Focus on measurables

Employers will want to hire those who will not only be the best fit for their business but add to its culture as well. Read the job description thoroughly and understand what the employer is expecting from you and how you can fulfil that based on your experience.

Think of specific examples when you’ve demonstrated the skills listed on the job advert and show the hiring manager the impact you can make for them. These will change from job to job, there’s it’s important that your CV reflects the job description you are applying for. This will make the hiring managers job easier to cross-reference their needs with what you have to offer. 

What skills can you bring?

In the profile section at the top of your CV, try to highlight metrics unique to you.

For example, certifications you have, a project you led or perhaps an initiative you were involved with.

I implemented new production processes with the support of 3 research interns. The processes were launched company-wide within a 12-month time frame and €1.5 budget.)

With information like this, you can highlight to a potential employer your capabilities towards the role and how you’ll benefit them and their business.

Of course, you still need to strike a balance between mentioning your soft skills and your hard skills but at a certain level, traits like ‘time management or ‘organisation’ should be a given, so you won’t need to mention these.

Highlight your wins!

Every business wants employees who can increase performance because that leads to better revenue.

If you can highlight ways that you can benefit a company and back it up with evidence from past roles, this will show how a potential employer much value you could bring to the role

Try to focus on your previous achievements and how they led to a positive outcome.

What have you achieved?

Knowing the impact you have made in your existing roles is crucial to proving your success and not just stating “I’m good at THIS”.

For example, what kind of role did you play in an initiative and how did it impact company performance and revenue? Can you quantify this?

For example:

I designed and implemented new changeover procedures that saved 18 labour hours per week while increasing the production efficiency by 25% through the design of two new production processes. I trained 20 technicians in these new production practices and cut defects by 15%.”

Including specific examples like this will identify how valuable of an employee you could be if the business were to hire you.

Study the job description

If you really want to know how to write a winning CV, one tip is to make it as easy as possible for a potential employer to see you as a valuable candidate.

It’s important that you read the job specification carefully and analyse the main requirements the employer is looking for, and then craft your CV accordingly.

Do you meet the requirements of the role?

You should group your academic achievements, work experience and skills into defined sections and tailor your CV to directly correlate with their requirements. This makes it easier for a potential employer to assess your strengths and suitability quickly by matching your experience with their needs.

A lot of consideration goes into job descriptions, and employers are looking for a candidate that meets most of the requirements. Organize each section so that your response to the key aspects the employer is seeking are at the forefront.

For example, if the position is for a Senior position to set up and lead a new team, and this fits perfectly with your previous experience, then highlight this in the work experience section of your CV if you haven’t already.

What to include and exclude in your CV?

It’s worth including a couple of lines about your hobbies, interests or any voluntary work you do towards the end of your CV.

This will give an employer a chance to connect with you on a personal level. You’re president of the golf club? Run the amateur landscape photography association?

Great!

Hobbies and interests will indicate how creative, communicative, and persuasive you can be, and as a bonus, topics like this could lead to interesting conversations if you reach the interview stage.

It may be that you have similar interests to the interviewer – talking about things you both have in common will calm your nerves and ease the usual, nervous atmosphere of an interview.

Do you need references?

An employer will often ask you for at least two references before making an offer.

Disclosing the names of your referees on your CV is optional, but if you do, make sure they know you have decided to use them as references, and that they may hear from a potential employer soon!

If you choose not to disclose names, then you can simply state “References available on request” at the bottom of your CV.

If you’re lucky enough to be offered an interview, or even a role, make sure you have this information handy so you can provide the employer with it as soon as possible.

Don’t lie!

Did you know about 40% of people lie on their CV?

Your CV should be a statement of facts and you must be able to stand behind everything you claim.

You shouldn’t lie about yourself on your CV as lying about your skills or qualifications could cost you the job in the long run.

Why you shouldn’t lie

An employer may require proof of your qualifications and if you are unable to provide them, or if you are unable to carry out the role sufficiently if you are hired – this will only end badly.

An employer will be able to tell if you’ve presented them with false information – it’s not worth it!

By following these 7 easy steps, you can craft the perfect CV and land an interview.

Once you think you’re ready, why not check out some of the roles we’ve got available here and apply?

If you need any more help or information, please get in touch with us!

We’ve put together a few bonus tips for things you should consider before submitting your CV for a role.

Bonus Tips

Have you checked for typos?

Before you submit a CV, review it thoroughly for typos, unclear language or formatting errors.

Better still, ask a trusted friend or family member to read over it for you as even the smallest of mistakes could make a terrible first impression.

How long should your CV be?

Your CV will be one of many, so you need to make it compelling enough for a potential employer to keep reading.

Keep your CV to a minimum of 1-1.5 pages and use bullet points so that it can be easily read and digested quickly; be clear, be concise, be the best ‘you’ you can be.

When your CV secures you that interview, make sure you’re prepared!

Read How To Prepare For a Job Interview: 6 Top Tips, and find out how to conduct yourself at an interview in How to Ace Your Job Interview: 9 Top Tips