Ensure Your CV Stands Out

You may have noticed that the current jobs market is heaving and now is a great time to consider finding a new role that will propel you forward in your career. Gone was the tentative approach to hiring we saw at the beginning of 2021, employers are looking for great talent and they need them fast. If you’re considering a new role for 2022, it’s time to revisit your CV and get it in shape to grab employers’ and recruiters’ attention!

According to the ONS, the UK saw a quarterly increase in vacancies of 35.2% towards the end of 2021, bringing the total number of vacancies to 1.03 million: 249,000 higher than the pre-pandemic level and the first time ever that vacancies have risen over one million.

With so many roles available and so many people deciding now is the time to change jobs, you need to ensure your CV is properly formatted and represents you in the best possible way to make sure you stand out in a very very crowded market.

What makes a good CV?

In a nutshell, a good CV is relevant to the job description. Many companies will use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that leverages AI and to assess candidate applications, CVs and cover letters for their relevance based on keywords, outlined responsibilities, educational requirements and past experience depending on the role itself.

That’s why it is very important to start with a master CV that includes the full list of your skills, experience and education, and then create custom ones for each role that highlight certain aspects of your skills and experience that are relevant to that role. You can also use your cover letter to emphasise this with relevant, real-life examples.

Barclay Simpson’s CV tips:

To ensure you’re not getting filtered out by ATSs, as outlined above, we advise that you use keywords throughout your CV. You can do this by examining the job description and lifting the key words they use for skills, educational requirements, project experience, etc., and peppering them through your CV throughout your previous experience.

What to include on a CV:

Some elements to include on your CV are fairly simple and are just good to cover as they can slip by unnoticed:

  • Up-to-date contact information
  • Industry-relevant education or certifications first
  • All tech and software you are familiar with
  • Employment experience and timeline
  • Project overview(s) where appropriate withing your professional experience
  • Soft skills as well as technical
  • List any languages you speak

Things you do not need to include on a CV:

  • A picture (but you can include a link to your LinkedIn profile)
  • Your date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Ethnicity

Your personal statement:

Your personal statement is a great opportunity to express your passions and interests within your career that the subsequent list of credentials below it won’t. In just two or three lines sketch out where your interests lie and what has led you to where you are now and where you’ll go in the future.

What to include under hobbies and interests

Many people find their hobbies and interests section confusing or challenging. Is everything you might enjoy here relevant? No. This should be a section where you show you’re a well-rounded human being that employs the same teamwork, leadership, creativity or independence that you demonstrate in your professional life as your personal.

How can Barclay Simpson help?

You can brush up on your remote and in-person interview skills and much more from our blog.

If you’re looking to find a new role in internal or IT audit, financial services, law, risk, compliance or cyber security then check out our jobs page which has some of the most exciting opportunities available. Once you submit an application one of our consultants will be in touch, from there they can help guide you through the interview process and ensure you’re a memorable candidate!

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