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How to promote yourself effectively on your CV

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Guest post by John Bramer

Curriculum vitae (or CV) plays a pivotal role in recruitment, so you’ll want to do everything possible to get yours in the best shape possible. Although it can be a difficult thing to do, you must be able to display your greatest assets in a CV and engage in some self-promotion to convince the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the role. To do this, there are a few things you should keep in mind to help your application stand out from the rest. In this post, we discuss what candidates can do to promote themselves on a CV effectively.

Keep your skills and experience sections relevant

A common mistake job hunters make is sending the same CV to every role they apply for, regardless of the job description or industry.

  • To effectively sell yourself to each potential employer, you must tailor your CV depending on the nature of the role.

  • Not every skill you possess or experience you’ve had will be relevant to every industry or role – think carefully about the most pertinent ones each time you send an application.

  • Listing skills and experiences that won’t be useful in the position you’re applying for will take up valuable space on your CV. You will demonstrate to hiring managers that you haven’t considered the job description.

Regularly update the information on your CV

In addition to ensuring that your CV is relevant to each application, it’s just as important to regularly update it with any new skills or qualifications you’ve acquired from recent professional or personal experiences.

  • As you move through your career, hopefully, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your skill set continually, and it’s important not to let these things go unnoticed.

  • Lots of skills you learn, and qualifications you acquire will be transferable to various roles and industries.

  • Be sure to keep track of any new soft or hard skills you learn or occasions where you’re exposed to different software and technologies so you can keep your CV up to date.

Don’t ask recruiters to "Take your word for it."

Another trap people can all too easily fall into during the application process is simply listing off skills they think they have without providing any evidence or being able to demonstrate them. However, recruiters will want you to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ them about your skill set – doing so will give them more confidence in your abilities.

There are several ways you can do this on a CV.

  • Firstly, be sure to draw on previous experiences and real-life examples of times when you’ve had to demonstrate any given skill in the workplace.

  • In addition, make sure that the content in your CV backs up any skills you’ve listed.

  • For example, if one of your skills is proofreading or being an effective communicator, any grammatical errors in the application will contradict this statement.

Make a good first impression with your CV

Your CV will likely be your first impression on prospective employers, so it’s important to dedicate the time to get it right. Remember these three top techniques, and you’ll be on your way to promoting yourself effectively in your next application.

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