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Top tips for writing a CV

When writing a resume, aim to capture the reader’s attention. Don’t over-face the reader with a huge application. Ensure that you’re aligning your CV to the specific job and company. A generic CV or one-size-fits-all type resume will not cut it when applying for competitive roles. 

Austin Belcak (2021) conducted research titled ‘resume strategies’ analysed over 125,000 resumes. Using Austin’s findings, we have listed 5 golden rules to help your CV sit on top of the pile.

1. Add your LinkedIn profile to your CV. The study found that resumes with a LinkedIn profile link were much more likely to get an interview, yet only 48% of CVs in the study, included a link. Make sure that your profile is up to date, or it could have an adverse effect. 

2. Include relevant keywords and skills that are relevant to the role that you are applying for. Austin’s study found that people only included 51% of relevant keywords.

3. The study highlighted that measurable metrics improve the chances of getting an interview. Surprisingly only 26% of resumes included 5 or more examples of good work with metrics. Use the Point, Evidence, Explain rule to break down each example. For instance, “I created a campaign to address low sales in a particular product category, which saw an increase in 90% over the 6-months after. I accredit this rise to the campaign because I spotted a trend and used it to sell more of these products.”

4. The findings from the study suggest that the ideal length of a resume should be between 500 – 600 words. The suggested word count may not be applicable for all job types, such as research scientists who may have 3+ pages. That rule will however work for most roles. 

5. Buzz-words and clichés should be avoided. 51% of the resumes in the study contained these types of words and phrases. Try to explain using examples rather than using buzzwords, which may come across as space-fillers. Rather than saying “I am a creative thinker.” Use a phrase like “my last campaign required me to think creatively about my audience”.

We hope you have found these tips for making your CV stand out useful. If you’re looking for a new role or advice on employability skills, please get in touch. 

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