How to make your CV more personal during a time of online submissions and meetings

CVs - 01 Feb 2021

Job hunting and interviews have changed quite dramatically during these uncertain times. There is no longer scope for candidates to drop off their CVs in person, or even pitch up for interviews dressed to the tee to sell themselves to potential employers face to face. All operations, even teaching have gone the online route and the most human interaction that we get these days are from a Zoom call or less. This, however, does not mean that you can’t be a frontrunner for the job you are interested in and make your CV stand out from the crowd.

Multiple studies have shown that on average recruiters and/or employers spend just SEVEN seconds looking at a CV before deciding if they want to engage in an interview or not. This is where the old saying comes in, first impressions are lasting and in this case, critical. We have the best tips for creating a CV that will show you are the best candidate for the position.

  • Strong intro – ensure that you always kick off with a strong summary of your skills and key accomplishments. Remember those seven seconds – this is what will make a recruiter or employer want to know more and continue reading. This will tell them exactly who you are and what you are about, so put a lot of thought into writing your first impression.


  • Results need to be emphasized rather than responsibilities – it’s all about numbers and facts on black and white. Instead of saying “I helped to implement a new extracurricular programme at school X”, rather say something along the lines of “I implemented a new extracurricular programme at school which attracted 30% more learners.” Quantifiable data always wins!


  • Show change and growth – as we all know, personal development is an integral part of any career. Make it  clear how you have grown in your roles and the accomplishments you have achieved. It is always important to show that you are eager to learn and add-on to your existing skill set.


  • Show that you can network – through various experiences in life, whether in high school, varsity or other jobs, we all meet a lot of people from all walks of life. If you display this in your CV it shows that you have great communication skills and that is a vital role for every single type of job that you will ever apply for. One way of doing this is to ask for testimonials. Don’t just add a section in your CV with a list of references. Insert a quote from an actual testimonial you got from an employer or colleague. Testimonials from parents also carry a lot of weight.


  • Use that vocab! – using power words will just make your accomplishments and skills stand out more and make your CV so much more personal and dynamic. Use words such as “adaptable”, “innovative”, “implemented”, and of course “achieved” or “accomplished”. A lot of companies actually use database software to filter out candidates who use certain keywords. Much the same as Google’s algorithm works when AdWords campaigns are run. 

 Creating that stand-out CV is not done in five minutes, but it is absolutely worthwhile to spend time on this and ensure that you can pick and choose when opportunities knock at your door for your dream job. It is also worthwhile to chat with various people you know that have landed their perfect job for some input and insight to what they added on to their CV to see what worked for them. Good luck and may the job pool be ever in your favour!




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