How to Make Your CV Stand Out.

make your CV stand out

There is a lot of competition in the job market, so you need to make yourself noticeable. Your CV (resume) is the first thing an employer sees about you. Thus, it is crucial to make a good first impression with your resume. But, many job seekers fail to make their resumes stand out, so they get lost in the sea of other job applications. In this article, we will discuss how you can make your CV stand out in the competitive job market.

Related: How to make yourself visible to employers

Only apply for jobs you are qualified for.

Every job posted is meant for the right applicant, so before you apply, ask yourself whether you are the right applicant. To be sure of this, check the qualifications and make sure you meet them. Yet, you do not need to meet all the qualifications needed for a job; just make sure you meet the minimum requirement. If you apply for a job you are not qualified for, you not only waste the recruiter’s time but also yours. This is because your CV might end up in the trash. So, to make your CV stand out, ensure you apply for jobs in which you meet the minimum requirement. 

Customize your resume to each job application.

Many job seekers make the mistake of sending generic CVs when applying for jobs. I understand that you might feel that you need to apply to as many jobs as possible. Thus, you do not have time to create new CVs for each job. But what is the essence of applying to many jobs if your CV ends up in the trash? So, to make your CV stand out, make sure you customize it for each job application. This will show the recruiter that you are really interested in the job and not just spamming them.

Add relevant skills.

Many recruiters now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) for the first round of CV screening. If you want your resume to scale through this stage, you should ensure that you add relevant skills. You might have a lot of skills in your arsenal, but only put the skills that are related to the job on your CV. Check the job requirements thoroughly to know the relevant skills that the company needs.

Draw attention to your accomplishments.

Another way to make your CV stand out is by drawing attention to your accomplishments. You have added the relevant skills you have to your resume. But, the employer would like to know what you have achieved with those skills. Therefore, you should try to add one or two accomplishments to make your CV stand out.

Experience over education

Many job seekers still make the mistake of putting their education before experience. The reason why there is room for education on a CV is so that employers will be sure you are literate enough for the job. They are more interested in your experience, so they know if you will be the right fit for the job. So, to make your CV stand out, make sure you add your experience before your education. The only exception to this rule is if you have just graduated and do not have relevant experience. 

Forget about objectives; write a summary instead.

Another way to make your CV stand out is by writing a summary instead of an objective. An objective will always sound cliche to me. Instead, you should stick to writing a summary of your CV. This sounds more actionable and real than objective.

Remove irrelevant information and add your LinkedIn profile.

There is some irrelevant information that job seekers add to their CVs. Information such as marital status, religion, and hobbies is not necessary. Adding all these will not make your CV stand out. Instead of irrelevant details, add a link to your LinkedIn profile. So, to make your CV stand out, keep it professional by getting rid of irrelevant information.

Keep it plain and concise.

Do not make your CV complicated by using some fonts and designs. Your resume is a professional document, so you should keep it simple. The only exception to this rule is if you are applying for a role in the creative industry. Besides, your resume should be short and straightforward. Thus, to make your CV stand out, it should not be more than one page.

Add a cover letter.

Whether required or not, add a cover letter to your CV. You have stated your qualifications and accomplishments in your resume. But with the cover letter, you can further highlight them. You can also explain how your skills will fit well with the company’s needs. Don’t know how to write one? Here is how to write the perfect cover letter (with a template).

Take formatting seriously.

To make your resume readable, you should take formatting seriously. Do not use a complicated font size; stick to the simple Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman font. Make sure the size is not less than 11 or 12, and use bold or italics to highlight titles. This will make your CV clear enough for both human and system screening.


Now that you have crafted your resume, you need to proofread it to remove grammatical or spelling errors. Simple errors like this can make your CV end up in the trash. Software like Grammarly can help you point out these mistakes for correction.

Save in PDF format.

If you are submitting your resume in person, you might not worry about this. But, online job applications are popular these days. So, you should ensure that you save your CV in PDF format. The reason for this is that if you submit it in doc format, the arrangement might be scattered when opened on another system. So, unless otherwise stated, always submit your CV in pdf format.

Have a network

One of the fastest ways to make your CV stand out is to have a network. Networking is essential when you are searching for a job. If you have a network in a company, your CV might get noticed quicker than you can imagine.

Follow the tips in this article carefully to make your CV stand out. And you will be on your way to landing your dream job faster than you can imagine.


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