The job application process starts with one of the most important steps: your CV.

Finding the right job at the best of times can be a challenging process, but throw a global pandemic in the mix and searching for your dream position can become a daunting prospect. So now, more than ever, your job application must be at the highest possible standard.

With more competition than ever, your CV needs to stand out from the crowd in what’s become a saturated market. That’s why it’s so important to go back to basics of what you should include in your CV, before you even begin your job application.

Once you have a solid foundation in your CV, the job application process is much easier. We’ve highlighted some key tips and tricks for a standout CV which will set you apart from other applicants.

Maximising the impact of your CV and preparing thoroughly for interview are two areas of the recruitment process that the candidate can easily influence. In a competitive marketplace, you need to capitalise on every opportunity to set yourself apart.

In many ways your CV is the most important part of the recruitment process. It provides potential employers with information on who you are and the skills that you possess. A well-crafted CV can create a powerful first impression for an interviewer and be that all important avenue to securing an interview.

An outstanding CV is one that provides concise information about a candidate’s experience and education, tailored specifically to the job application.

Be positive about your achievements

Make it clear why you are the best candidate for the job and try to tailor separate CVs for each vacancy you apply for.

Consider the contents of the advert or role profile and look at how you can demonstrate the required skills on your CV. Be sure that your skills are stated clearly and not lost amid technical jargon or long-winded explanations.

Demonstrate focus and direction

Decide on a job objective that can be summed up in one sentence on your application. Remember that a long and protracted statement can suggest that you lack clarity and direction.

Skills matter

Draw attention to your skills and strengths as well as your qualifications. You can do this in the comments section of your CV.

Sell yourself

Don’t just state what skills you have; also explain why they are beneficial. Don’t go into excessive detail, though, brevity is important in crafting a high impact CV.

Impress the employer

Provide examples of how you solved workplace or career problems, and what the results were. Innate personality abilities are as important as vocational skills.

Tell the truth

Ensure the information you provide is accurate and truthful. Do not try to cover up any aspects of your career or experience. If you are found out, any exclusion or obvious inaccuracies will have a negative effect on your application.

It’s not difficult for employers to do background checks, and in most organisations, this is standard practice.

Show your personality

Personal interests, even though sometimes very relevant, should be at the bottom of your CV – it doesn’t highlight your ability to do the job but can prove you’re a great culture fit for a company.

Be honest about your personal interests, but do your research and find ways they’re relevant to the company.

Our anatomy of a CV guide will help you craft your CV from headline and contact details all the way down to key skills and personal interests. Don’t be put off by what can seem like a daunting task, filling out a CV that’s tailor made for you will mean you’re highlighting the right attributes and skills for the job.