Adding the Wow Factor to Your CV

March 19 2019 , 0 Comments


When we talk about adding the wow factor to your CV, it’s not quite upping the font size and changing the colour to a stand out purple. It’s more about developing your CV as if it was a story. Where did you start, what did you achieve along the way and how did it form the career path you’re now on. Part of telling that story well is to be different by avoiding clichés and highlight specific experience relevant for the role. 

Here are some pointers on how you can take your CV to the next level and ensure it gets the attention it deserves.



Don’t state your duties, state your accomplishments

Yes, you want to show that you’ve had lots of responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean you need to list off your day-to-day duties. Structure it in a way that will show off how hard you’ve worked. Some CV’s might include awards won and promotions earned. Don’t think because you’re in a more junior role or that you haven’t won awards that you still haven’t accomplished anything! Just ensure every day-to-day task has a solid outcome that you can highlight

You could include things like:

  • In charge of website content upkeep which lead to a 30% increase in our SEO traffic.
  • Automated sales documents which halved the amount of time the team worked on admin.



Volunteering says more about you than you realise

Don’t believe that unless you’re applying for a role in the charity sector, volunteering isn’t relevant. Understand that you CV is one of many vying for a job. If you can show what type of a person you are outside of work, it will give the recruiters a better picture of the whole you. And volunteering is one way to do that. 

It shows you’re passionate about something (without having to say it) and that you have the motivation to spend your spare time helping others. These traits are looked upon favourably by recruiters and hiring managers and suggest you would fit into a team environment with ease.



Don’t overlook stylistic pointers

It’s important to make your numbers and accomplishments pop on your CV. So how do you do that? Don’t hide the important bits amongst a content-heavy CV.

  • Keep it short: could you sum up everything in one or two pages?
  • Bullet point as much of your experience as possible
  • Have a breakout ‘accomplishment section’ underneath each job
  • Echo the language of the recruiter



Be brutal and write lean

It’s hard to sum up everything you do and experience at work in a small amount of space. It’s also hard to relay your inside know-how into an easy-to-read format. But this is where you need to hone your skills and perfect what you want to say.

Focus on the essentials, give enough context and information to explain your previous experience without letting the reader lose interest.



Avoid buzzwords and replace them with action words

Recruiters are reading CV’s all day long. Even though you might have spent many hours agonising over the language you’ve used, if you’ve followed our tip above to write lean, then it’s important you’re picking your wording carefully.

Be mindful of using the same old buzzwords found in nearly every CV. If you’re applying for a managerial role then don’t say you’re responsible as this should be a given. Rather talk about how you motivate your team and what kind of a manager you are – do you have any examples of when your team worked well together?  



Get into sales mode and sell yourself

No, you’re not begging for a job, but you do need to sell yourself. It’s a fine balance between coming across as desperate and showing off the best of your skills and experience.

In your CV, you need to sell yourself, what are the benefits to hiring you, what can you bring to the table and how does your experience match with what the job is demanding of a candidate. Once you get through to the interview stage you will need to shake off your nerves, smile and exude a go-getter attitude.

As tempting as it is to work off an internet CV template, it’s best to start simply. Sit down and think about your current role, your future career aspirations and pin point your milestones along the way. Start with the small ones right through to your proudest moment. Those business award winners in high up positions probably started as interns, so turning that internship into a full-time job is definitely a milestone to add!


This post was brought to you by Kaplan International English, offering English languages courses in 38 destinations around the world.

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