Unless you’re besties with the hiring manager at your dream employer, getting your CV seen can sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world. But don’t stress, there are other ways you can get your resume noticed. You just might need to put in a bit of extra effort.
According to the Harvard Business Review, recruiters decide whether you could be right for the job in just seven seconds. Seven seconds! That’s the amount of time you have to ensure your CV moves to the next round of the application process.
So, here are our top tips to getting noticed…
1. Make sure your CV actually matches the job description
Many organisations use programs to screen resumes, so including the keywords mentioned in the job description is a great way to make sure they notice you. Pay attention to the skills and experience the company is looking for and weave that language into your CV.
“My favourite advice for job-seekers in making their resumes stand out is first to print it out, then lay it side by side with the job description for the position you’re applying for,” Shay Perry, a Career Transition Coach, told us. “Next, look over the action verbs used in the job description, and see where they could be added to your resume if they aren’t already there. Also, look at the key tasks the position is requiring, and make sure they are represented on your resume as key tasks you are experienced in and capable of.”
Shay adds that you can more easily see if you’re accidentally highlighting the wrong things in your resume when we have your CV and job description side-by-side.
“Using the job description as our guide can help us to reorganise our resumes in a way that highlights the parts of our experience that matters most to employers,” she explains. “Also, using the right keywords on our resumes (like those action verbs found in the job posting), allows it to be filtered by automated resume bots as a good match for the position, and help us jump the very first hurdle to having our resumes seen by an actual human.”
And please, for the love of God, proofread that bad boy and then proofread it again! Better yet, could you have a friend proofread it? There’s nothing worse than sending someone your resume and cover letter and maybe mentioning your exceptional grammar, only to re-read it afterwards and find a very obvious typo.
2. Avoid overly cluttered CV design layouts
While an unconventionally formatted CV is eye-catching, it could be a real challenge for automated systems to find the keywords. You also want to make sure you use that precious real estate effectively and remove any fluff.
But if you’re in a creative industry and want to add some pizazz, why not make an online portfolio instead? This can be more colourful and eye-catching and also showcase all of your fantastic work. Include a link on your resume so the reader can easily find it and check it out.
3. Get bragging!
Include your accomplishments, but don’t just say something like, ‘I increased sales by 20 per cent.’ Be specific! How did you do it? Were you leading a team? Did you win an award? Show off, just don’t embellish! Make sure you’re keeping track of any quantifiable milestones in your current role. This way, you can add them to your CV for your next job or promotion.
Remember, this is not the time to be humble! You’re trying to impress someone you’ve never even met before and fast!
4. Make sure your cover letter is personal
Try to address your cover letter to the person who’s actually doing the hiring and make sure you’re thinking about the things they’ll care about. This is where you could go into detail about some of the accomplishments on your resume.
Check out the company’s mission statement and show you align with their goals and would fit in well. Show that you’re passionate about your industry and why you believe the job was made for you.
5. Have a personal connection? Make the most of it
Applying through a portal is totally fine, but if you personally know the hiring manager or have a mutual connection with them, why not reach out?
If this works for you, you might’ve just sent your CV to the top of the pile!
When you do get that dream job, make sure you’re also choosing a super fund that aligns with your goals and values. Learn more about CareSuper’s options here.