Writing a CV is an art form. There are no fixed rules, but given that your CV only has 7 seconds to hook its readers, you need to make sure it packs a punch and is engaging from the start. The trick to enticing the hiring manager to give your CV more than a cursory glance, or just a few seconds, is to make it engaging, so that they want to read more and can easily envisage you as the candidate they want.
Love Success is the leading London recruitment agency for office professionals – here are our top tips for writing an engaging CV.
1. Use the job description cleverly
It’s not always possible, but ideally you should tailor your CV to each job you apply for. Use the advert, or the job description, and weave key phrases from it into your CV. Many CVs are now screened by applicant tracking systems, so this ensures you make the first cut, but it also ensures that a hiring manager sees you as relevant for their vacancy. Back up any descriptive assertion that you’ve used with evidence from your work history.
2. Use action verbs, such as ‘completed’ ‘generated’ and ‘improved’
Ditch the clichés about being dynamic or empowered and instead choose meaningful action phrases that allow hiring managers to envisage you doing things in their workplace. Every applicant will list that they are a team player, but it’s meaningless to the recruiter. Instead, you could say something like “Liaised with my team and achieved project completion on X to Y budget, within deadline”.
At the same time, write your CV in the active voice. This is direct and confident, as well as easier to read and digest.
3. Give them space!
There’s nothing quite as off putting when reading a CV as being faced with a wall of solid text. It’s difficult to scan and fails to draw the reader in. A trick for engaging CVs is that less is more. Ensure that there is plenty of white space on the CV and that it’s easy for readers to follow.
4. Be skill specific
There are many skills that prospective employers need to know about so try and make clear what your unique skillset is. Don’t be afraid to have a dedicated skills section, but providing tangible evidence and not just a list of over-used words is important (even if they are action verbs!).
Within this, address any glaring questions that hiring managers may have. For example, showcase your remote working skills if relevant.
5. Reflect the organisation’s culture
Yes, an employer wants to know that you can do the role. But often, more importantly, they want to know that you will fit in with the culture of the organisation. They are looking for a good fit.
You can use your CV to reflect the culture of the organisation, which you can learn about from their website and hunting about online. Try to mirror their branding and tone in how you phrase your CV. The reader will then be able to imagine you fitting in.
Lastly, for an engaging CV, the basic rules still apply: get your grammar and spelling correct and check for typos! Follow these CV writing tips and you are on the way to an excellent engaging CV.
Need more help writing your CV? Register as a Love Success candidate.
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