Getting noticed for the job you want

This week is National Careers Week, an event focused on growing skills to get a successful career. In support of this initiative we talked to Ian Williams’ Recruitment Lead, Olivia Withers, about her top tips on how to get noticed when applying for a job.

“With the digital era continuing to evolve the recruitment process, you may think the traditional CV is on its way out. But recent stats show that 91% of organisations still see the CV as important within an application process due to its structure and consistency to support efficient employer shortlisting.

The recruitment team at Ian Williams see hundreds of CV’s so offering up a clear, impactful and relevant CV is key to getting noticed in a crowd. In fact, you have on average 7.4 seconds for a Recruiter or Hiring Manager to scan a CV and take notice.”

Whether it’s your first CV or an update, here are some key considerations:

It’s all about you

Remember a CV is essentially a sales document, all about you. Take pride in who you are and what you do.

  • Introduce yourself with your name and contact information so we can easily get in touch.
  • It’s your skills and experience that are of upmost interest, not your age, sex, marital status or what you look like, so you don’t need to include a photo either!
  • Link to your LinkedIn profile, if you have one.
  • What makes your experience unique? What is your USP? (Unique Selling Point)?
  • What is the one thing that everyone says you’re amazing at? Think about what gets you excited and your values. Talk to colleagues, previous managers, family, friends and ask them to describe you.

Make it impactful

Your first 2-3 lines – your career objective/ statement – are crucial to getting noticed and will entice the reader to keep going. The key information is to include “Why you” and “What value you can add” and avoid using the ‘pleasing’ words like ‘team player’, ‘hardworking’, ‘great communicator’ – these are great attributes but are often expected by the employer.”

Where to include your education

Where education sits on your CV, depends on your where you are with your career. If this is your first CV and you have no experience you education is likely to be your biggest achievement, so put it at the start.”

If you’re more experienced, unless your education is critical to the role, put it at the end. Your experience is going to be more important than the number of GCSEs you achieved.”

Showcase your experience

  • When it comes to your experience, put it in chronological order. Your most recent activity is what’s most likely to qualify you for the role you’re applying for.
  • Always state the company name, industry, size and keep your experience clear and concise. 8 bullet points highlighting responsibilities, achievements and value focused statements is often enough.
  • Think about your USPs and what’s unique about your experience.
  • Show your vitality with robust action verbs, like advanced, drove, spearheaded, accelerated, optimised, streamlined, leveraged, rather than phrases like ‘responsible for’.
  • Don’t leave any gaps, explain them. All employers will notice a gap, and want to know why, so get ahead and explain.
  • Highlight any particular IT skills/ systems you are competent in.

Finishing touches

My final advice is:

  • Tailor your CV to the job description. You may be considering different avenues, so take the time to consider what’s relevant to the particular role you’re applying for.
  • Offer to provide references but don’t give any contact details. The referee may not want to be contacted by multiple people.
  • Finally, some things never change and keeping your CV to 2 pages is one of them.

Hopefully these tips will help you create a relevant and punchy CV that will get you noticed.”

Skip to content