Getting Your CV Noticed Is No Small Feat
- Nao Madison
- July 19, 2023
As a digital recruiter, I am the first to admit I do not spend a lot of time reading a CV, I scan and call those I can engage with. I am not alone, here are some tips to start engaging with more readers.
* Create a Clear Elevator Pitch, Who, What and Why
* Use a Photo and or a Video
* Hyperlink your Contact Details
* Highlight Your Toolbox
* Make It Visually Appealing
Getting your elevator pitch right is so important, it is your response when someone asks what you do for a living, what you use when you introduce yourself over the phone and what you lead with on your CV.
You have about 5 seconds to engage a reader in your CV.
Start with who you are, what you are looking to do and what experience and passions you have that make you a good match for the reader. This should be just a few lines long, the tone should be light and friendly. If you are comfortable adding a bit of humour, that could add an extra level of engagement from the reader.
Suddenly your CV is more memorable and stands out from the others in their inbox.
“Hi I am Naomi, I am a Digital Recruiter with over seven years experience working with creatives, developers and now specialise in UX. Originally from the UK and never missing the weather, I am available to provide insights into the digital market here in Melbourne”
I want to see your face, it helps me to get to know you. If you are scared of prejudice due to your race, religion, age or sex, don’t be, if someone was going to judge your suitability for a job on that, they are not someone you want to work for. Use a clear headshot, not too formal but ideally not with a pet or cocktail glass (ideally use the same image for your LinkedIn)
If you are comfortable having a 15-second intro video of yourself this could really set your CV aside from other people.
This is your chance to get in front of the reader without even being requested into the interview and to practice saying that all-important elevator pitch.
Keep it clear and to the point, who you are, what you are looking for and why should someone engage with you. If a reader already feels your experience is a good match and then likes the way you present yourself you might find yourself being offered a role without even leaving the house.
Put all your contact details at the top including any relevant digital profiles, LInkedIn, Twitter, online Folio or Blog site.
Make sure to make all of these are hyperlinks, the easier it is for the reader the better.
If you mention particular projects or examples further into your CV you could consider another quick link to that particular project or profile.
Get your key skills in before you go into your work experience, I love bullet points because they are super easy to read but depending on the length of the skills that does not always work.
Lead with the skills which are primary to the role you are looking for and then follow with those that are transferrable.
If you are a UX Designer, imagine you have a UX Toolbox you are going to bring in on your first day, UX Research, User Testing, Infinity Mapping, Azure Wireframing, Visual Design, Stakeholder Management and Reporting.
It’s possible that you have recently learned most of these UX skills and previously dealt closely with stakeholders and was responsible for regular reporting.
But both of these previous skills are essential to good UX so should definitely be included in the tool box.
There is a lot of debate over the ideal length of a CV, my colleague does not like less than four pages, personally, I am happy with a snapshot of the most important part of each role you have had.
Always put the dates in for your previous roles, again I favour bullet point or a few lines exemplifying the focus for the role and any key achievements. If you can quantify these, do
“I personally lead a team of ten and was responsible for budgets of $1million”
rather than “Senior Manager responsible for large budgets”
Stick to relevant experience, I do not need to know about jobs you had ten years ago unless they hold value to what you do now.
Always try and consider if the experience you are mentioning is relative to the reason you are submitting your CV, if not question whether to mention it.
Making it visual with CV Templates:
If you are a designer great, get creative, but for those of us less fortunate there are lots of great CV templates out there to utilise, a standard word document can do the job but standing out and giving the reader a feel for your design eye could land you an interview.
Visual CV has some nice layouts and if you were interested in tracking who viewed and downloaded it this is a big value add.
Envato has a number of HTML CV’s, where you can view details online and choose to print, this one is $9.
If you know a designer that could help you, you can find some great inspiration on Pinterest too as well as buy direct.
There is no right way to make a CV, but in a competitive market, it is worth investing some of your time and creativity into yours to make sure someone calls and says hello!