How to make a CV that stands out

Your best cover letter to recruiters is your curriculum vitae. Learn how to make your CV stand out. With this post, you will have all the information and tips needed to improve your curriculum.
How to improve your CV

Your best cover letter to recruiters is your curriculum vitae. Nowadays, a mere curriculum in which you tell what you have done during your academic and professional career is not enough to attract the attention of companies looking to find new talent. This post will provide you with all the necessary information and tips to have a CV that stands out to grow in your career. 

A few seconds are enough to reject a curriculum!

Human Resources experts spend an average of only 6 or 15 seconds reading a resume to see if they are in front of the CV of the ideal candidate.  

What is the first thing recruiters look at?

4 Aspects to take into account in your CV:

● Applicant’s name and picture.
● Current title and company.
● Start and end date of the last job.
● Education.

Have you ever heard about ATS?

In addition to trying to capture the attention of recruiters, technology plays a very important role. Have you heard of ATS (Applicant Tracking System)? It is a system widely used, today, among HR managers to screen and make the first screening of resumes to select the perfect candidate according to the criteria and characteristics of the job offer. ATS discard around 75% of curriculums before reaching the hands of recruiters. Below we will show you how to optimize your CV to adjust it to the ATS system and attract the attention of recruiters.

Know more about ATS

Guidelines to improve a CV Madi Uc3m

Which CV format is best for ATS?

14 Tips to optimize your CV for ATS.

  • Keywords.

Include keywords that appear in the offer description. You can also include generic words that convey positive feelings such as “objectives”, “leadership”, “results”, “coordination”, “team”.

  • Adapt your CV to each job offer.

It is very important to customize and adapt your resume and that it adapts to the needs of the position. Therefore, avoid using the same standardized CV for all offers.

  • Job experience.

Be careful with this aspect, which is important, especially when it comes to recent university graduates without much professional experience in their field of specialization. The ATS emphasize the latest professional experience and “pigeonhole” your profile accordingly.

For example, you are a recent graduate in Marketing and you are applying for a job offer in this field, but your last experience has been as a shop assistant in a clothing store. In this case, omit this professional experience from your curriculum. Try to always focus your profile and your professional experience (even if they are as interns) but that they are relevant to the job offer.

  • Action verbs.

It is essential to use verbs in past tense forms and the first person. To create greater impact, accompany them with measurable achievements. For instance: “I increased the revenue of department X by 20%.”

50 Action Verbs

  • Avoid flashy and strident colours.

Impress the recruiter with colours that attract attention but without going overboard. 

  • Word format.

Although it is the format that most of us choose, the PDF that many ATS systems do not recognize. Therefore, your CV should be in Word format.

  • Be clear and concise.

Did you hear less is more? Well, this time apply it. Try to include only relevant information. Include only the latest professional experiences that will be relevant to the position you are applying for. If it can be 1 sheet better, or at least not more than 2.

  • Watch out for spacing.

Very often we use “/” or “-” to save space. However, if you are going to use these resources, do not forget the space between both words, since in many cases the ATS system does not recognize it and counts it as an error.

Example: Public Relations / Receptionist.

  • Professional picture.

Do not forget that the first impression is what counts. 

  • Bullet points.

Make use of this resource to make it easier and more visual for HR experts to read your curriculum. In this case, bullet points give you the opportunity to summarize information.

  • Date.

The best date format is one that contains the month and the year.

For example 03/2017 or March 2017.

  • Font and Size.

Use a standard common font, such as Calibri, Verdana, Times New Roman, or Arial and size 10 or 12.

Know more about the standard written CV style.

  • Linkedin URL.

Attach your link to your Linkedin profile.

Advice! For your profile to be more professional, the link must contain your name and surname. For example first name-first last name-second last name.

  • Skip acronyms.

Most ATS do not recognize abbreviations and acronyms. In order to avoid mistakes, write the long form of the word.

Example: write Customer Relations Management, instead of CRM.

What platforms can help you optimize your curriculum vitae?

There are different online tools that allow us to create different and original curriculums with which you can attract the attention of recruiters. However, do not forget that self-confidence must be added to this, give off your qualities, cause a good image and take care of the way of expressing yourself above all. In this case, we present examples of some websites that will help you create an attractive curriculum:

This tool allows the creation of your curriculum from an infographic quickly and for free. In addition, and like other pages, it allows you to import your data from the professional social network Linkedin. In this way, Kinzaa provides visually striking CVs just by registering and starting to create.

Canva helps us create a CV for free by organizing all your information quickly and easily. It has a selection of 30 professional resume templates or you can design and customize according to your own style from scratch. Moreover, this web platform also contains a wide range of stock photography, icons, fonts, and an assortment of backgrounds appropriate for each personality.

And now… let’s get to work creating an amazing curriculum!

Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about the international business world!

Marina Díaz

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