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What do employers look for in a CV/resume? Top tips to stand out โœจ

What do employers look for in a CV/resume - woman resting head on hand smiling with laptop at desk

What do employers look for in a CV/resume? Top tips to stand out –

Introduction ๐Ÿ‘‹

When it comes to CVs/resumes, you’ve got about 30 seconds to make an impression. โŒš

This means that in 30 seconds you want to show straight away that you are exactly what an employer is looking for. โœจ

But what do employers look for in a CV? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Did you know that there are 3 qualities that pretty much all employers look for when they hire people? ๐Ÿ‘€

A study by CBI researched employers and what they look for when they hire people, which led to them finding out the top 3 qualities that employers look for.

Here are the top 3 qualities employers want from you, and how to show them in a CV/resume! ๐ŸŒŸ

1. A great attitude โ˜€๏ธ

So this is it – the number one thing that employers look for, is a great attitude!

This is the most important thing that employers look for, meaning that:

  • the most important thing employers look for, won’t cost you any money to get! ๐Ÿ’ธ
  • if you have a great attitude, you might not need anything else to get a job ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • someone could hire you based on your attitude, even if you’ve got no qualifications, skills, or experience ๐ŸŽ‰

How to show a great attitude on your CV โœจ

  • Use positive language and share accomplishments๐ŸŒŸ How to stay positive โ˜€๏ธ
  • Indicate where you’ve been adaptable ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธ How to be more adaptable ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Spell check your work – spelling/grammar mistakes can make it look like you don’t care ๐Ÿ”ก
  • Make it easy to read – it shows that you’ve been considerate of others ๐Ÿ‘€
  • Use a sensible email address with your name in it! e.g. wouldn’t be taken seriously ๐ŸŒญ
  • Don’t waffle too much – it shows that you respect their time โŒš
  • Use the job description/job advert to help write your CV – if you use similar words to the job description it shows you’ve taken the time and care to listen to what they’re looking for ๐Ÿ‘‚
  • Put your most recent work experience, qualifications etc. first when you list them (so they don’t have to read about your whole career history to find out what you’re up to now!) ๐Ÿ”
  • Keep simple colours and fonts to make it easy to read ๐ŸŽจ
  • Create small bits of space around text so it’s easy to read ๐Ÿง
  • Keep it less than 5 pages, ideally around 2! ๐Ÿ“„
  • Ideally save the document as a .pdf to look professional โœจ
  • Use your name + “CV” for the file name e.g. LauraAbrahamCV.pdf ๐Ÿ‘ – Makes it easier for them to find and remember what the document is for.
  • Use modern fonts like Calibri, Helvetica, or Verdana โœ๏ธ – it shows you care about presentation!
  • Use bold text to make lines easier to read ๐Ÿ‘€
  • Be honest on your CV ๐Ÿ˜‡

2. Work skills/experience ๐Ÿ’ผ

The second most important things employers look for is work skills or experience.

This means that ideally they want you to:

How to show work skills/experience on your CV ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ผ

  • Put skills at the top of your CV to demonstrate straight away what skills you’ve got ๐Ÿ”
  • Tailor your skills section to fit what they’re looking for on the job description๐Ÿชก
  • Use your knowledge/skills section to demonstrate how you fit the job description ๐Ÿงฉ
  • Add “knowledge” into the CV, to fill gaps where you might be missing experience ๐Ÿง 
  • Get as much work experience as possible ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ผ How to write a letter for work experience (with template!) โœ‰๏ธ
  • Put your accomplishments in your skills section – with numbers! Using numbers can make your achievements sound more impressive and memorable. ๐Ÿ”ข
  • Talk about your impact/results – it shows that you’ve demonstrated skills! ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ
  • Try to build up experience in lots of different places, relevant to the career you want ๐Ÿ’ผ
  • Help your community/do charity work and add it to your CV, it shows that you’ve got a great attitude, plus you’ve got experience! ๐Ÿ’– How community work can boost your career ๐Ÿ’ผ 104 ideas to help your community ๐ŸŒŽ

3. Qualifications ๐ŸŽ“

The third most important thing that employers look for is qualifications. ๐Ÿ†

Getting qualifications shows employers that you:

  • can read and write ๐Ÿ“–
  • work hard ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • can cope under pressure (from exams, deadlines) ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
  • are able to learn from others ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ
  • are committed working in that job role, by taking the effort to get a relevant qualification ๐Ÿ”’

How to show qualifications/experience ๐Ÿ…

  • Find free online courses relevant to the jobs you’re interested in and add them to your CV๐Ÿ’ป
  • List your highest/most relevant qualifications first, and consider mentioning them near the top of your CV ๐Ÿ”
  • Research qualifications and training that relate to the job you want ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • If it takes up too much space, sometimes you only need to summarize your qualifications e.g. “8 grades achieved between A and C”

Conclusion ๐Ÿ‘

So that’s it!

The top 3 things employers look for in a CV are:

  1. A great attitude โ˜€๏ธ
  2. Work skills/experience ๐Ÿ’ผ
  3. Qualifications ๐ŸŽ“

In the study by CBI, when employers were asked to select the top three factors they consider when recruiting graduates:

  • eight in ten (82%) chose attitudes and aptitude for work
  • six in ten (58%) chose relevant work experience/industrial placement
  • almost half (45%) picked studying a degree subject relevant to the job

If you know any friends or family members who might benefit from learning about the top 3 qualities employers look for, share this post with them!

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