Some recruiters spend a matter of seconds screening applications, so it’s critical that your CV stands out from the crowd.  Below are nine practical tips to help create a CV that gets you noticed.

  1. Carefully review the job advertisement, position description & company website

Familiarise yourself with available information on the role and company. Tailor your CV to suit the relevant criteria. 

  1. Formatting finesse

Your CV is your first introduction to a prospective employer – make it as clear and easy to read as possible.

  • Your name and contact details should be at the top
  • Your employment history should be in reverse chronological order
  • The font and layout should be professional and aesthetically pleasing
  • Omit large blocks of text
  • Check the length, no more than three pages if possible
  • Ask a friend (or two) to review your CV for accuracy
  1. Education

Clearly outline your educational background including university, qualification and year, as well as details of your placements.  Be sure to include any relevant professional development activities you’ve undertaken.

  1. All in the detail

Your two most recent roles should generally be the richest in content, providing the most detail about your responsibilities (and importantly, achievements – see #5).  Include comprehensive information on the role/s relevant to the position you are applying for, even if they aren’t the most recent.

  1. Achievement focus

In addition to your role responsibilities, highlight your key achievements for each position.  Include figures/stats to support your accomplishments, where possible.

  1. Continuity & tenure

A great CV will explain any significant career gaps, like travelling or parental leave. Similarly, having too many jobs in a short period can be a red flag – make informed decisions when job-seeking to minimise this. 

  1. Location, location, location!

Choose your location for a new role carefully, taking into consideration your commute time. Clearly demonstrate your geographic suitability by including the suburb that you live in and any upcoming changes, like relocation.

  1. The digital age

Include the URL of your up-to-date LinkedIn profile and any other relevant links.  Check the privacy settings of your social media profiles to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward and across all platforms.

  1. Give ’em a ring!

Before submitting your masterpiece (plus cover letter), prepare a couple of relevant questions and call the Recruiter or Hiring Manager to introduce yourself.

While it’s impossible to tell what a candidate is really like from a document, investing time and effort into your CV will help showcase your experience and hopefully, land you an interview.

Renier Erasmus

Recruitment Consultant & Registered Psychologist