10 Tips To Enhance Your CV
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 29 September 2022 | Published 26 May 2021
Updated 29 September 2022
Published 26 May 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Enhancing your CV before applying for a job can boost your chances of landing the position. Showing your experiences and skills, you can position yourself as an ideal candidate for the role on offer. Knowing what information to include and how to write your CV can make all the difference. As it's your first point of contact with your potential employer, it's usually worth taking the time to enhance your CV.
What is a curriculum vitae, commonly known as a CV? A CV is a detailed description of your professional experience and education that recruiters use to assess your suitability for their role. It's important that your CV is professional, readable and error-free. A CV should also include your personal details, achievements, courses, awards, interests and personal attributes.
In this article, we've suggested some tips that should help you enhance your CV and increase your chances of landing your desired role.
10 tips to enhance your CV
Here are 10 tips to consider for enhancing your CV:
1. Career objective statement
A career objective statement is a short paragraph that describes your future career plan and goals. It should serve as a brief introduction to you and your CV and encourage the reader to keep reading. They're not essential, but they can help the hiring manager understand more about your professional objectives. Wherever you can help the employer by making it easier for them can give you an advantage.
2. Professional formatting
The format is a contributing factor to enhancing your CV by making it look professional and appealing. Consistency in headings, fonts, bullet points, indentation and spacing can significantly impact the reader's impression of you. Besides looking professional, formatting consistency also helps the employer navigate the document. Again, this can make it easier for them to assess your suitability for the role.
Calibri, Times New Roman or Helvetica are all good font choices for most professions. Make use of bullet points to break up the information when you're listing skills and experiences. Finally, ensuring the white space is even throughout the document can make your CV visually appealing and shows that you pay attention to details.
3. Don't be afraid to use bold, italics or ALL CAPS text
Used sparingly, bold, italics and capped text can enhance your CV by improving its readability. Emphasising sections of text will allow the important parts of your sentences or headings to stand out.
Recruiters will be able to scan through the document and pick up on the parts you want them to notice, making their job a lot easier. By making this process simpler for them, you're already showing that you work efficiently, which is a valuable trait for most employers.
4. Add quantified evidence to your statements
Quantifying in your CV means adding exact numbers to your statements. For example, instead of saying, "I managed a team during my time as a works coordinator", say, "I managed a team of 12 during my 18 months as a works coordinator."
The latter statement can be more powerful because it provides quantified evidence. Try to quantify your statements wherever you can throughout your CV to impress the hiring manager with your attention to detail. If you're unsure about quantifying anything in your CV, remember it's always better to be overly detailed than vague.
Related: What to Include in a Resume
5. Personalize the details
Personalizing your CV with names, dates and projects is a simple way to connect with the employer and bring your CV to life. More jobs are becoming accessible to a broader group of people. In recent times, recruiters now consider applicants with degrees in different fields and remote work has become more acceptable.
In response, many employers look for applicants that they connect. Connecting with the hiring manager through personalization can boost your application as they envision you at work in your former roles. Personalization can then help them imagine you working for them.
For example, instead of saying, "I worked closely with my manager", say, "I worked closely with Steve, my manager at Treehouse." Including the details shows that you care about your work and helps you to stand out.
6. Create different versions to target various industries and roles
Creating a tailored version of your CV to match specific roles and industries can positively impact your job applications. Depending on how wide you're searching in your job hunt, different roles and industries value different skills and values. Creating a version for each allows you to highlight your experiences that match the job description.
Tailoring your CV can show employers that you're interested in their role and that you're suitable to meet the requirements. The importance of creating different versions of your CV will depend on how much the roles vary in your job search.
7. Try to view yourself as someone else would
By taking a step back and viewing yourself as someone else would, you can find hidden and valuable traits. Lots of your best and most valuable professional characteristics can be ingrained in how you operate.
This means it's easy to miss the things you do well, also known as soft skills. A great way to see your strengths clearer is to consider how a colleague or senior views you. From this perspective, it becomes easier to describe your work skills and personal strengths.
For example, you may be personable and good at including people, which is a significant benefit for companies that value work culture. If that's how you have always been in your personal life, then you might not even notice it. Perceiving yourself as a colleague can highlight that trait you can include as a strength in your CV. Try this exercise and see if you come up with any new strengths to include.
8. Remove references
Previous employer references are not necessary for your CV. Employers don't usually need to cross-check your CV and reference your work ethic at this stage of the hiring process. If you have included them in your CV, take a copy of the information before removing them. That way, you can send them to the employer if they ask for a reference at the next stage.
9. Shorten sentences and paragraphs
Short sentences are always easier to read. Easy reading makes for a more direct assessment experience. When enhancing your CV, you may find your sentences involve a list with multiple commas as you explain your experiences. These can often be necessary and hard to simplify. As long as you try to keep sentences short, you're likely to strike a good balance that makes your CV easy to read.
10. Review and edit the text and formatting
An error-free CV is a major contribution to its success in landing you an interview. An error-free CV proves that you pay attention to details, that you care about your work and that you're professional. These are usually valued traits that employers look for in the hiring process.
It can be easy to be complacent about reviewing, editing and formatting your CV. It would be a waste of all your hard work writing your CV if some simple errors hinder it.
Look for spelling and grammar mistakes, odd or inconsistent formatting and sentences that you could write in a simpler way. You may find it easier to break up the reviewing process by considering the areas below:
Consistent and error-free grammar: You can enter your CV through a grammar app to help you edit and correct your text grammar to polish off your CV.
Accurate and correct details: As you review your CV, clarify dates, facts and details to ensure everything is correct and accurate.
Formatting: Refer to the tips given in the above 'Professional formatting' section to help review your formatting.
Why should you enhance your CV?
It's a perfect time to enhance your CV before you begin a job search. Not only will you have new experiences and skills to add, but CV trends can advance in a short amount of time. Hiring processes evolve as the world evolves and becomes more global.
Related: How To Write a Cover Letter
Best practices for CVs change along with this. For example, five years ago, references in CVs were considered a must and they're now considered unnecessary. It's also a good idea to enhance your CV every six months while you're employed and while your current role's challenges and successes are fresh in your mind.
A well-written CV can make the recruiter feel comfortable that you have the ability to perform well in their open position. You can show this by highlighting your professional experiences and skills that match the requirements of the role. Successfully implementing the tips in this article can help progress your application to the next stage, which is a big step towards being hired.
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