Want your CV to stand out? Try this

Want your CV to stand out? Try this

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Is your job search stagnating? The online resume builder, Novorésumé, gives us their top tips for creating a CV that stands out from the crowd. 

Sometimes, your job search can seem really hopeless. You spend so much time working on a convincing resume, and then even longer on a polished cover letter to go with it. Finally, you start applying to dozens of jobs every day. And yet - you’re not getting the results you want. Either you’re not getting any call backs, or the interviews you get invited to are for the jobs you aren’t that keen on. 

You’re probably thinking: “What am I doing wrong? Am I not applying for enough jobs?” 

Well, no - that’s not it. Chances are, you’re making one very common job-search mistake: Spraying and praying. 

Spraying and praying

“Spray and pray” is a job search technique where you play the numbers game. You make a single resume / cover letter combo and use it to apply to as many jobs as possible, as often as possible, and hope that, eventually, you’re going to land one job or another.

Unfortunately, while very common, this approach just doesn’t work. See, most companies nowadays use applicant tracking systems - a type of software that scans all of the submitted resumes and decides whether each one is relevant or not. 

If you’re using one resume / cover letter combination to apply for every single role, that means your application isn’t tailored to the job. Which means there’s a good chance the software won’t find what it’s looking for in your CV, and automatically reject it (without it even being seen by a real recruiter). 

What this means is that, even if you’re the perfect match for the job, you’re still not getting hired. So, why does this happen, and how can you make sure your CV doesn’t meet the same fate? Here’s what you need to do:

Tailoring your application

Want to bypass the ATS every single time, and have a much better chance of landing a job you’ll love? Stop spraying and praying, and do this instead: 

Target your job search

First, you need to slow down. Instead of applying to every other job you see on a job board, actually read the job description and filter out the ones that aren’t a good fit for your skill set, giving you time to build a quality application for the ones that are a good fit. You should be looking for around 10 such positions per day. 

Build an ultra-specific application

Second, read the job description thoroughly. Identify the most important skills and experiences for the role. Look back at your resume. Have you mentioned all of them? Chances are, there are some missing. 

No two jobs are alike, even if the names of the positions are exactly the same. So, go through both the job description and your CV, and ensure that you mentioned all your key skills, experiences, competencies and anything else that’s relevant. 

Pro tip: Make sure that your job title on your resume matches the one on the job description one-to-one. For instance, if the role is “Sales Manager”, your resume title should be “Sales Manager” and not “Sales Specialist” or any other synonym. This ensures that the applicant tracking systems identify your role properly (and don’t accidentally discard your CV). 

Do your research

Third, do some research into the company. Look them up on Google (or Glassdoor) and find out the following:

  • What is their product or service?
  • What are they famous for?
  • What kind of company culture do they have?
  • Did they have any interesting news lately?
  • What are their plans for the future?
  • Why are you excited to work for them?

Then, you need to incorporate some or all of this information into your cover letter. Talk about why you’re excited about working for the company in this role, and how you can contribute. 

Hit apply!

The final and most important step! Once your CV and cover letter match the job description, you’re good to go. Hit apply, and on to the next one! But remember: job-searching is a process. Don’t just tailor your CV to 3-4 roles, decide that this doesn’t work (if you don’t get instant results) and then go back to spraying and praying.

Instead, incorporate application tailoring into your job search. Do this for 5-10 positions every day, five days a week, and you’re bound to land a job you’ll love in no time! 

Final top tips

And, as a final bonus, here are some essential resume tips and tricks that might help give your job search a boost: 

  • Stick to achievements instead of responsibilities: The recruiter knows what responsibilities your job involves - after all, they’re hiring for it! What they want to know is how you stand out from the rest. 
  • Quantify your experience: It’s one thing to say you “helped increase sales”; it’s completely different to say you “increased quarterly sales by 20 percent”. Quantified achievements demonstrate your impact!
  • Stick to relevant work experience: Only mention the jobs you’ve worked that are relevant for the position you’re applying to. The recruiter doesn’t care about your internship 10 years ago. As a general rule of thumb, stick to your last three to five positions. 

Are you looking for a resume that’s going to help you stand out from all the bland euro-pass CVs? Novorésumé is the leading online resume builder in Europe. Pick one of their resume templates, fill in the contents, and create your job-winning CV in minutes!

Andrei Kurtuy


Andrei Kurtuy

Andrei Kurtuy is one of the co-founders and CCO of Novorésumé and an expert in the job searching process.

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