Your CV is the first impression your recruiter or hiring manager will have of you, and first impressions count for a lot.
How can you write a CV that best shows off your skills and experience?
10. Action Verbs
Action verbs are essential to include in your CV. Powerful and dynamic action verbs such as ‘automated’, ‘generated’ and ‘doubled’ define a specific experience, skill or accomplishment from a previous job and tell the recruiter looking at your CV that you have achieved significant successes. Ensure you add context to explain why your achievements are important: action verbs followed by a powerful explanation show leadership skills and adaptability to new challenges.
9. Positive Words
Utilising positive words to describe yourself help to market you effectively to your potential employer: if you don’t believe in yourself, recruiters and hiring managers can’t either. Use words like ‘accurate’, ‘adaptable’, ‘innovative’ and ‘pro-active’ to describe the positive difference that you made to the companies you’ve worked for and the reasons why your next employer should hire you.
In VHR’s previous blog on 10 Most Common CV Mistakes, we reveal the most overused words in candidate CVs – employers see these all the time and they can easily cause disinterest. Avoid generalisation and introduce descriptive words in your CV to make it unique and stand out from other candidates.
Next on the list of top 10 words to include in your CV are examples of your skills and attributes. Many candidates tend to write a block of words that they think will make their resume appealing, without any explanation. However, recruiters want to know exactly how you gained the skills that you have.
Use specific examples of projects you have completed and challenges you have successfully worked through to demonstrate your competence to recruiters and hiring managers. When recruiters have more insight into your capabilities as a worker, they can accurately match your suitability to the role and will feel more confident in your ability to do the job, meaning they can put you forward for interviews.
The word ‘committed’ best describes dedication and shows a feeling of responsibility in achieving company goals. Committed workers are the most likely to reach organisational and individual targets and are therefore very desirable for employers. Commitment also proves to recruiters that you are a loyal and trustworthy individual whom they can absolutely count on to perform well in their job.
The word ‘improved’ is high on the list of 10 words to include in your CV because it signifies development and growth: exactly what recruiters want to see on candidate CVs. Even though the word ‘improved’ is in the past tense, it shows that you have already fulfilled an objective with which you were previously struggling or lacked direction, highlighting your determination and flexibility to recruiters and suggesting that you can further develop your skills in your next role.
It may sound obvious, but the number of candidates who fail to list their achievements on their CV is surprisingly high. The word ‘achieved’ is a powerful statement and one of the top 10 words to include in your CV. Evidencing previous accomplishments is the best way of showing your potential employer that you will achieve in your next role.
4. Company Values
Ensure that you tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for, and pay particular attention to company values. Incorporating the values of your prospective employer into your CV will align your application with what is most important to the company, suggesting that you are the right candidate for the role not only due to your skills and experience but also your matching attitudes and behaviours.
3. Be Specific
Being specific is an important strategy for your resume. Specific language and explanations provide recruiters and hiring managers with the detailed information to immediately see whether you are a suitable match for the role. Specific language makes your CV more interesting and engaging, increasing the time that a recruiter will likely spend reading your CV and the likelihood of putting your application forward.
‘Adaptable’ is a popular yet vital word to include in your CV. Adaptability is a crucial skill for advancing in your career and shows your prospective employer that you will easily transition from your previous role into a new job. Adaptable people are constantly learning from new experiences and performing better with every challenge.
Last on the list of 10 words to include in your CV, but by no means least, are words that are highly relevant. Including words and phrases relevant to the job you are applying for is crucial to getting the job. If you apply for a Motorsports job or a Precision Engineering job, use the exact terms that your employer will recognise to describe what you do in your current role and your previous experience.
Hiring managers and recruiters will be on the lookout for candidates who have worked with specific car models and CNC machining tools or used specific processes to create high quality products, so adding specific experience to your CV can position you at the top of the shortlist for your next role.