How to Write a CV That Will Get You Noticed by Employers
A good quality CV is the ultimate door-opener for any professional. Whether you are tapping into your social network to find a new job, signing up with a recruiter, or applying directly to companies, a well-crafted CV will showcase your professional value and increase the likelihood of getting job interviews.
Writing a CV that stands out requires an understanding of what to include and what to avoid. While there is an abundance of advice online about how to write a CV, there are some key principles to bear in mind. We’ll highlight the most practical advice you can use to land that perfect job when you see it.
Keep it Current and Relevant
When writing your CV, it’s important that you ensure that it’s current. Only show recent positions and credentials that are most relevant to the job you are applying for, in reverse chronological order. There is no need to write your CV from scratch for each job application, but you should create a template that is modifiable for each job you apply for to make it easier.
The job description of the role you are applying to is your best guide for shaping the content of your CV. If you are unsure about whether to include a specific role or detail, refer to the job description to see how it fits. Hiring Managers and Recruiters will be comparing every CV they receive against the job description, so connecting the two and pulling out certain keywords from the job description and strategically placing them into your CV helps increase your chances of getting noticed.
If a recruitment agency is helping you find a role, they can give you even more insight into what the employer is looking for. Be sure to ask the recruiter for as much information as you can about the role and company, as they can inform your CV writing process.
Highlight Your Accomplishments
For each role listed on your CV, aim to quantify the positive impact you made while you were in that position. An example of a good CV includes the best outcome you achieved for each previous employer, including data wherever possible (such as a percentage increase or decrease). If you were quickly promoted on account of your performance, mention this as well.
Examples of action verbs that show how you added value in each role include ‘delivered’, ‘saved’, ‘increased’, ‘reduced’ or ‘identified’. When writing a CV as a Mining Engineer, for example, you could describe a career achievement as “managed large teams for numerous capital and maintenance projects, delivering every project on time and within budget”.
Including a summary of your key skills at the top is a good way to concisely show how you suit the role. A skills summary gives you space to add keywords from the job description as well. For example, as a Geologist, you might list your skills as ‘completing explorations, conducting site suitability studies, knowledge of ArcGIS, MicroStation, AutoCAD’ and so on.
Highlighting your achievements also demonstrates your soft skills, which employers consider just as crucial as technical knowledge – especially for people leading teams. Ensure your career achievements convey your aptitude for problem-solving, communication, teamwork, adaptability and time management.
Leave Out the Clichés
Just as a few well-placed action verbs can give a CV more impact, using cliché words or phrases can weaken a CV – depending on how you use them! You want to use phrases that strengthen your CV rather than weaken them, especially when you may not be aware that these could be weakening it in the first place.
Examples of clichés, buzzwords or phrases you might want to avoid include:
- A fast learner
These may be true of your character and your work ethic but packing your CV with these isn’t a good idea.
Readability is Essential
To make your CV easy to quickly read, outline your career history by listing each job title, the dates you were an employee and the company name with bullet points that describe what you did in each position.
Here are some quick final tips on how to write a CV that is optimised for most applications:
- Always include your contact details and a link to your LinkedIn profile at the top of your CV.
- Proofread it carefully to find any spelling and grammar errors. These can trip up even the most experienced professionals, so it never hurts to scan it at least twice.
- Get a friend to look at your CV to help you find any errors you might have missed.
- Keep your CV to a maximum of two or three pages.
- Using a CV template might be helpful but do ensure the structure is clear and is easy to understand as a chronological document.
- Also, beware of using a CV template that relies too much on graphic design and fancy fonts. Visual simplicity usually works best.
You can see an excellent example of a CV template with great readability below that you can use. At Patch Personnel, we like to keep our templates simple so that your experience stands out!
Recruiters and employers will first and foremost judge a candidate by their CV, so the time invested in writing a quality CV is critical for any professional. An example of a good CV is one that quickly demonstrates that you are the right fit for the job. When writing it, always consider how your skills and experience match the job description – and you shouldn’t have to pay for it, either.
Describing the outcomes you achieved in each position, using effective language and a clear layout are key ingredients in a winning CV formula. As specialists in oil & gas, engineering and construction recruitment, Patch Personnel sees hundreds of CVs every year and we’re here to help you to polish yours before it goes to an employer.
Are you ready to find your dream job and need more resume advice on how to grab the attention of an employer? Our team of oil & gas, engineering and construction recruitment experts can connect you with Australia’s leading employers and craft a winning CV for your next role. Get in touch with us today to make it happen.