8 ways to make your CV stand out in 8 seconds

You might spend hours or even days perfecting your CV, but according to the National Citizen Service, employers spend an average of 8.8 seconds looking at it before moving onto the next.

Although the GO2 team do spend much more time reviewing CVs and applications, it’s still really important to have a CV that stands out from the pile.


Here are 8 CV hints and tips to help you grab the attention of any potential employer, in those all important first 8 seconds.


1. Tailor your CV to the job

We recommend having one main CV prepared, but tailoring it to the specific job you’re applying for, so that you can really show off the most relevant parts of your experience, skills, and qualifications.


2. Keep it short

A good CV should be no more than 2 pages long! If an employer is only spending a few seconds looking at your CV, it needs to be easy-to-read, so never overload with information, and keep it as brief as you can making sure to list all your transferable skills.


3. Don’t lie

It’s super important that ALL the information on your CV is realistic and not false. It’s never a good idea to exaggerate qualifications or experience because even if the employer doesn’t catch you out at the time, it will almost always come back to haunt you down the line.


4. Work on your formatting

Our preferred format for CVs is to start with the Personal Profile which contains a bit of information about you as a person, then Skills as bullet points, followed by Employment History, starting with the most recent going back. It’s important to include job titles and the dates you were there (avoid abbreviations of months). The next section is Education & Qualifications, and make sure you highlight any relevant to the role.


5. Include your contact details

It might seem obvious, but we receive a surprising number of CVs without an email address! Once the CV has been printed and handed to the person reviewing it, they won’t know what email address you sent it from. Speaking of email addresses, keep it simple and professional with yourname@gmail.com or similar.


6. Use white space

We know that 2 pages isn’t much space to include your entire life story, but try not to cram every space with copy. It’s important to leave some negative space as it will help your text flow and make the document appear easier to read.


7. Avoid photos

We don’t recommend including a headshot on your CV. Although there are some potential benefits, such as building your personal brand, it can also look unprofessional, lead to discrimination, and it takes up valuable real estate on a short document.


8. Check for typos

Once completed always double check it for spelling mistakes and making sure the font is all matching.


Start your job search today by viewing our current vacancies! Alternatively, send us your CV (remembering these tips!) and we’ll check to see if your skills and experience matches any of our clients’ needs.