How to ‘pimp up’ your CV

You’ve brought your CV up to date and have started sending it out to hiring managers, but you’re not getting any responses. If that’s the case, it may be time to give your resume a facelift and start grabbing prospective employers’ attention!

  1. Make the most of your contact details. If you haven’t already, add a twitter or Instagram handle (providing your social media accounts look professional). You could even add a photo to make your CV stand out (again, go down the professional route!).
  2. Give it a header. Click into the header section and add ‘[Your Name] CV’ to make it look more presentable. This will also help employers identify it quickly when they’re flicking through the piles that land on their desks.
  3. Use hyperlinks where appropriate. This makes it easier for those reading your CV to check out your social media, website and previous places of employment. Don’t go too overboard with these or your CV will be difficult to read. Less is more…
  4. Cut it back. Is there any waffle in your CV? Have you included too many past jobs? If so, chop out anything you can. You’re giving the highlights, not writing a thesis. Keep it concise and relevant.
  5. Use bullet points to condense dense blocks of text. Bullet points always look neat and will naturally draw the eye to the most important information. Avoid using tables, which can make your CV look dated.
  6. Take time to fix the layout. Is everything lined up well? Is it attractive and easy to read? There are plenty of templates out there if your formatting is off. Just avoid using any quirky fonts or colours!
  7. Get rid of any errors. This may not sound like a big deal, but you’d be surprised how many CVs get binned because they contain typos or random extra spaces. Print it out and read it through carefully. Then get a friend to do the same.
  8. Save it as a PDF. Once you’re happy with your new-look CV, save it as a PDF. This means it can’t be changed by anyone at the other end, and will also look better. Give the document a practical and professional name, and hey presto!

All you need now is a strong cover letter and you’re good to go. Make sure your cover letter matches up with the information on your CV and explains how your skills and experience equip you for the role. Use the job description and person specification for inspiration.

 

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Joy Tibbs is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Premier. Find out more at joyofediting.co.uk and find her on Twitter @joyous25

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