Training and achievements
To customise this section effectively, carefully read the job description and requirements and identify both the skills and qualifications the employer wants. Include and highlight training and certifications that align with the job requirements, including technical skills and industry certifications.
Identify achievements from your past experiences (work and voluntary) that demonstrate your ability to excel in areas relevant to the job. Quantify achievements whenever possible with numbers and percentages to provide measurable results and add credibility to your claims. If your experience is not directly linked to the role, think about projects that may showcase the relevant skills.
ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a software employers use to scan CVs effectively and select candidates with the essential skills and experience. The majority of employers use an ATS, however, different positions will have unique keywords crucial for their ATS - you’ll need to consider the specific role you’re applying for to pass the initial screening stage.
You can incorporate ATS-friendly keywords in any of the above areas, and you will have already covered some within your skills, experience, and training. Although you cannot be certain which keywords are required, you can pre-empt them using the job description. Consider other ways you can mirror the language within the job description and posting, such as:
- Action verbs like ‘led’, ‘managed’, and ‘oversaw’
- Industry-specific terminology related to the job
- Target numbers and figures
Keep in mind that balance is essential, so avoid keyword stuffing and ensure your CV remains readable and compelling to both ATS and human readers.
Alongside tailoring the copy, you should consider the design of your CV. The design matters more than you might expect, and colour can help make you stand out. Modern-day employers are used to seeing CVs that include colour, so don’t be afraid to inject some into yours.
When deciding on your colour scheme, consider whether it suits the role and industry you’re applying for. While there is no definitive answer to what colours you should use on your CV, choose colours that reflect your industry and complement one another. For example, professional services may stick to dark or muted colours, whereas creative professionals will use a more colourful palette to show their personality. Remember, it’s always best to keep your main background colour white and the font black for readability.
Have you found this article insightful? At Search, we work with 6,000+ businesses across the UK and have uncovered what makes a great CV in today’s job market. If you are looking for more support with your CV or job search, contact us today, our dedicated recruitment consultants can review your current strategy and make recommendations.