5 ways to make your CV shine

March 22, 2016

Applying for a job can seem extremely overbearing, especially if you have never done it before. Writing a CV which really sells you as a candidate, and writing a personal statement or cover letter which is bespoke for each particular role, apprenticeship vacancy or traineeship can be pretty scary.

But there are several ways to set yourself apart – both in building up experience and knowledge which will impress on paper and, eventually, at interview, as well as small changes and bits of advice which can lift your CV and cover letter from being one of the crowd, into star of the show.

  1. Volunteering

Gaining the type of experience which will impress a prospective employer can seem tricky, but securing a volunteering role can really boost your chances of securing an interview.

It shows you are willing to go the extra mile to grow as a person and professional – even if the role is not specific to the industry you want to work in, it could still build your interpersonal skills, time management, working under pressure, the list is potentially endless.

Adding this onto your CV and referring to it in your cover letter provides the perfect platform to market yourself to a potential employer.

  1. Part time work

If you have currently got or had a part time job, remember to position this in the right way to make the most out of your experience.

Similar to volunteering, even experience which is in a totally separate sector or industry can signal that you have transferable skills which position you really well for the majority of vacancies. Many jobs require you to work well in a team, the large majority demand you be punctual and have great time management – explaining this in the correct way as part of your application can mean you tick a lot of the desired and required skills which you otherwise didn’t think you would have.

  1. Travelling or gap year

If you have gone travelling and experienced new cultures and countries, far from just being a holiday this shows you possess a wealth of skills which can benefit you and your business in a professional setting.

Meeting a range of new people in an environment you are not used to shows your adaptability and confidence. Make sure you make these links and tie it to the role or apprenticeship you are applying for.

  1. Organise your CV

As well as being clear about what you are going to include in your CV, it is crucial that you organise the information in a relevant and engaging way – separate each relevant section out and include a section for educational achievements, work and volunteer experience and skills you have acquired.

Also draw focus onto your strongest asset – if you have achieved well academically but fear your experience is lacking, lead with this in your introduction and structure accordingly.

  1. Check, check and check again

Show an attention to detail by thoroughly spellchecking and properly formatting everything you do for your application – presentation is everything and shows you care about the opportunity.

Also make sure you’re well aware of everything that you include and confident – if you do get an interview you’ll need to go into more detail and further back up what you have included.

 

Want to learn more about how to get yourself job ready? Our Summer Skills Programme runs from July 4 and provides a great opportunity to develop your skills and secure a job, apprenticeship or traineeship. Click here to find out more.

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