How to make any job look impressive on your CV
CVs can be tough to write when you don’t have the best employment history. But inject key action words and numbers, and you’ll impress recruiters
CVs can be daunting to write when you’re missing the right work experience. Perhaps you’re concerned that your latest role doesn’t showcase your potential, or isn’t anywhere near your desired career path?
Don’t worry: there are ways to make any job look impressive on your CV. These tips are guaranteed to paint your employment history and skill set in a positive light, and help recruiters believe you’re the best candidate for the job.
Use the active voice
One secret to making any job look impressive is to use active rather than passive words. This is because active words make your achievements the focus of the sentence, highlighting your contribution. Use active phrases such as: “I ran a social media campaign” instead of: “A social media campaign was run by me.”
Go through your CV and swap any passive sentences for active words. It’ll help show off your responsibilities and it’s also more engaging to read. Action words you could use include: developed, organised, evaluated, coordinated, allocated and performed.
Since recruiters spend less than 30 seconds scanning each CV, active words are a must to keep them reading.
Inject keywords into your CV
Not only does this show the recruiter you’re a great match for the position, but it helps you to surpass any applicant tracking systems (ATS), which look for certain keywords in CVs to determine whether you’re a good fit for the role.
To optimise your CV, you must first sift through the job description, highlighting any skills that match your own. You should also make note of the jargon or acronyms that specific company uses – as ATSs look out for common industry terminology, too.
Once you have identified the keywords, be sure to include them naturally throughout your CV as it will be read by humans as well. By changing your CV in this way, you show you have the skills required for the role, in the recruiter’s own language.
Cut out irrelevant information
If you target your CV to the job you’re applying for and cut out and responsibilities that aren’t directly related to the role, you’re guaranteed to make any job look remarkable.
So after filling your CV with keywords, you must delete any skills and knowledge from your roles that are not mentioned in the adverts.
Don’t feel you have to remove irrelevant experience completely – after all, you don’t want to make yawning gaps in your employment history. Instead, reduce the level of detail to ensure it does not cloud the relevant, important information.
Show, don’t tell
Another secret to making any job look impressive is to support your skills and abilities with concrete evidence. Show what you can do, don’t tell. For example, you might write “I have strong communication skills”, but this doesn’t prove your ability, it just tells the recruiter about it.
Instead, show the recruiter that you have communication skills. For example: “I used strong communication skills to successfully manage a team of three shop assistants. As a result, our team out-performed the company’s national sales targets”. Here, not only are the specifics of the communication skills explained, but another important skill is referenced too: management.
By backing your abilities with evidence, you’re more likely to persuade the recruiter that you genuinely have these skills, making you a stronger applicant.
Use numbers and stats where possible
You can also bring some pizazz to your employment history by injecting numbers to demonstrate your growth and successes. Here are a few examples to illustrate the difference statistics make:
- Led a 1M USD engineering project and a team of 20.
- Waited tables for 50 people in one evening with accuracy.
- Increased annual e-commerce sales by 50% in one year.
- Trained new retail staff in groups of up to 30.
It doesn’t necessarily matter what your role was, numbers and statistics prove you are an achiever – something all employers value.