How to Create a Standout CV: A Step-by-Step Guide from Formatting to Submission

How to Create a Standout CV: A Step-by-Step Guide from Formatting to Submission
Nirupama VG, Founder & MD, Ad Astra Consultants - How to Create a Standout CV
This article has been contributed by Nirupama VG, Founder & MD, Ad Astra Consultants Private Limited.

In today's competitive job market, a carefully created curriculum vitae (CV) can determine whether or not you land an interview. Your resume is your promotional tool, highlighting your abilities, background, and credentials for prospective employers. Follow this detailed guide from formatting to submission to ensure your work stands out.

Select a professional and clean format for your resume. Use standard fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri, and keep the font sizes consistent. Arrange your data into categories like Contact Details, Summary of Qualifications, Professional Experience, Educational Background, Abilities, and other pertinent categories.

Customise your resume for every job application by emphasising the experiences and skills most relevant to the role. Show how well you fit the position by incorporating key phrases and terms from the job description.

Begin with a compelling Professional Summary, as it is the initial section that employers will review. Ensure it is impactful. Give a summary of your experience, highlighting your main skills and accomplishments. Attempt to capture the reader’s interest and persuade them to keep reading.

Steps to Create a Standout CV

Steps to Create a Standout CV

Emphasise Achievements

Rather than just outlining tasks, concentrate on your successes in every position—present quantifiable accomplishments in bullet points, such as surpassing goals, spearheading initiatives, or enhancing procedures. Quantifying your impact and adding credibility to your claims is aided by using numbers and percentages.

Give Importance to Relevant Experience

Organise your work history in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent job. Include the job title, company name, and dates of employment. Give more importance to the roles that relate to the position you are seeking.

Display Your Education

Provide information about your academic history, such as degrees, certifications, and pertinent coursework. Bring attention to any academic accomplishments, accolades, or honours. If you have recently graduated or have minimal work experience, your educational background may be more important than your work history.

Focus on Transferable Skills

Along with job-specific skills, showcase transferable skills beneficial in various positions and fields. It could involve skills such as communication, critical thinking, and leading, collaborating, and being flexible. Give instances of how you have showcased these abilities in past positions.

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Include Relevant Keywords

Many employers utilise applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter CVs for pertinent keywords before human recruiters review them. Use industry-specific terms in your resume to improve your chances of getting past ATS screening.

Top Sections to Have in Resume
Top Sections to Have in Resume

Keep Your CV Layout Simple and Easily Understandable

Use bullet points, concise paragraphs, and spacing to enhance readability when paraphrasing while maintaining the word count. Avoid compact paragraphs and too much styling, as they can divert attention and hinder quick scanning of your resume.

Proofread Your CV

Thoroughly proofread your CV before submitting it to eliminate typos, grammatical errors, and formatting inconsistencies. Consider having a close friend or co-worker look over it, too, as they might spot errors you overlooked.

Submit Confidently

Save your CV as a PDF to maintain the format and guarantee consistency across all devices. When submitting your application, make sure to carefully adhere to the employer's guidelines, whether through an online portal or email.

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