Job Applications: 4 Tips To Make Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) Stand Out From The Rest


After the invention of web and mobile applications like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Fuzu and Google Jobs, employers are bombarded with job applications in thousands. To really stand out, your résumé needs to be unique in order to catch and maintain the attention of employers in the five seconds they will initially look at your résumé.


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To create a really good CV, you need to consider an exhausted person seated on the couch at the end of the day in the living room of his house. Kids are playing, a spouse is talking and the TV is turned on. There are several ways advertisers are able to create adverts that can grasp the attention the person seated on the couch, maintain it and pass a message. This is the same principle you need to apply for your résumé according to Forbes, referred to as the five-second rule.

  1. Match your current job responsibilities to the new, prospective role.
  2. Make sure that your bullet points are clear, concise and grab the reader’s attention.
  3. Specifically, tailor your skills and responsibilities of your prior jobs to show that you are the answer to the problems that the firm is currently or expectedly facing.
  4. Ensure that you reference your college/university and any advanced degrees, certifications or licenses.
  5. Check and check again. Avoid errors at all costs. This means spelling mistakes, dates which conflict with one another and incorrect email address and phone number.

After considering all this, then you would need to consider the impacts of the information you are giving. If your age will compromise your bid for the job, you are allowed to leave it out, the same applies to gender. There are instances where recruiter firms use artificial intelligence systems to get rid of CVs that do not make the cut (See example: hiring technology). So below, are what any system anticipates to find in your résumé.

  1. Profile – Who are you in person? What is your location? How can the recruiters reach you? This part is important because it gives a human face to your application.
  2. Experience – What have you done in the past? Is it related to the job available? If the recruiter is using hiring technology, what the employer is looking for will be compared to the experience you have and if found lacking, it may limit your chances.
  3. Education – Have you studied and achieved anything from what you have learnt in terms of the available role? What are your achievements in terms of grades and from which schools?
  4. Format – An important point to recall is that you are trying to capture and maintain the attention of an employer. Keep the CV concise, with heading and subheadings. There are a variety of fonts you could use, Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri. The most important thing is to ensure that the employer will see everything and it will not be difficult to make out the message you are trying to pass. 2 pages is always recommended for somebody who is just starting out. Check out this post  Beginners Guide to Curriculum Vitae (CV) Writing for more tips.

Now, if you have carefully considered everything to this point, your application is ready for submission. The last thing you will need a cover letter, here are 9 Proven Ways To Create Compelling Job Application Letters. Also, check out Tips For Attending A Job Interview


How to Write a CV – video

Featured image from Beginners Guide to Curriculum Vitae (CV) Writing

Keywords: Writing a CV, Making a CV Stand Out, Hiring Technology.

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I am a writer, editor, a digital storyteller and an explorer. I am one of the two contributors to the website Wannabe novelist and often distracted by fiction that is laden in mystery and dark humour.


  1. […] A CV is a summary of who you are, so, make sure you sell yourself in the best way possible. However, avoid exaggerating your abilities as the employer will definitely put it to test. You can simply start by ensuring your CV has no grammatical or spelling errors. You should also get it reviewed by an external person especially if it’s your first time applying for a job. Here are 4 Tips To Make You CV Stand Out From The Rest […]