CV writing is getting harder than ever. You’re not going to get an engineering job if you don’t know how to catch the attention of hiring personnel. Add to this that the amount of CVs being sent in for each position is increasing and a question presents itself: how can you get your CV to stand out?
Recruiters don’t spend long looking at each CV. Estimates are as low as 6 seconds, but more often it’s said that you have about 30 seconds to grab their attention. It needs to be eye-catching!
Ensure that you put the necessary information prominently and clearly. A big paragraph at the top of the page will not help, a block of text won’t be looked at. To change this format, you need to choose what goes in the first half page of your CV carefully. Any way that you can put across your information and qualifications immediately is good. For example, rather than just writing your name “Joe Bloggs,” write your name followed by your qualifications “Joe Bloggs MSc.” Put your contact details immediately after your name – don’t make them search for an email address or phone number. In this way, you immediately establish that you are qualified for the position you are applying for and easily available to contact about the role.
Do not write an extensive paragraph detailing your achievements. A quick explanation is needed, so remember not to paragraph. A short, bullet-pointed list with appropriate experiences is a quick way to draw in the recruiter. They will know what you’ve done and see the relevance to the position applied for. It will most likely be necessary to expand on these points later on in your CV, but it’s an easy way to get the recruiter to take notice of you initially.
Keep your font readable! Using strange, fancy fonts or anything smaller than size 11 and you’re going to be ignored. If your experiences can’t be read at a glance, they’re not going to be read at all.
So to summarise; make the information you feel is most important prominent, succinct and easy to read. By doing this, and with your own personal flair, your CV will stand out from the pack.