Applying for a high-flying job can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience, and although you have likely gained additional confidence at every new step on the career ladder, showcasing your vast range of skills and experience effectively on your CV as they continue to expand can be a tricky task. With just two pages to sell yourself, working out what to include and what to omit can feel stressful – so how exactly can you showcase why you’re the right person for the job with such limited space to work with?
The key is to be concise, and condense your key skills and achievements into short bullet points. A professional CV template will help you to lay them out and format them in an impactful way, communicating your worth and professionalism while keeping things short and to the point. After all, recruiters often have to sift through hundreds – or even thousands – of CVs when short-listing candidates for interview, so the more quickly you can grab their attention the better. Few have time to read through a lengthy resume, so consider their time when putting yours together, and you’ll already be one step ahead.
Here, we take a look at the best-kept secrets to writing a winning CV to land yourself that high-paying job. Keep a bottle of good champagne on hand, because you could be popping it open even sooner than you think.
Create a good impression with your personal statement or profile
In the world of business, first impressions are long-lasting, and by taking the time to compile a concise but well-written summary of your experience, skills and qualifications you’ll set the tone for what’s to come in the rest of your CV.
This doesn’t mean describing your personality or your long-term career aspirations. Rather, focus on your professional achievements and skills, tailoring them to the role you’re applying for to show that you’re the right person for the job. Picking out a few points from the job description and demonstrating how you match up with the criteria is a great place to start.
Use professional language
In the same way as your voice or accent reflects your country or region of origin, the language you use in your CV can speak volumes about your professional background and level of education. If your CV is full of contractions (e.g. ‘you’ll) for example, recruiters will probably remember you more for your writing style than your abilities. Remember, this is a formal document, so formal language counts.
By using professional language, you will sound more polished and more competent. A good way to do this is to visit your prospective employer’s website to get a sense of its voice and tone and then include some of the keywords and phrases in your CV.
Speak about your achievements in terms of numbers
The more senior the role, the more likely it is that your success will be tied to financial results and outcomes. Therefore, to convince recruiters that you’re worthy of a higher-paying job, speak about your achievements in terms of numbers. For example, don’t just write that you’re good at sales – mention how you ‘increased sales of luxury products by 25 per cent to the value of £1,000 for 3 months’, or the equivalent.
If you’re not in sales, you could talk about how much money you saved the company in a particular project, the percentages by which you improved efficiency or the time frames in which you completed important projects.
Keep to a traditional CV format
For high-paying roles, most recruiters will expect a traditional CV, which follows the chronological or reverse chronological format.
Generally speaking, your most recent position or role will be of most interest to recruiters, as it lets them know whether your skills and experience are current. By using a chronological CV format, you demonstrate that you’ve followed a steady career track, gradually working your way into positions with greater responsibility.
Consider using a CV template
The design and layout of your CV can also play a big part in hiring decisions. Irrespective of your experience, if your CV looks cluttered or is poorly formatted, it can give the impression that this is also how you present yourself and your work in business settings.
With a CV template, you can be sure that your information is well-structured and displayed consistently so that recruiters can easily find the information they need. As your CV will look attractive and readable, you’ll immediately create a good impression.