Make Any Job on Your CV Look Impressive with These 3 Secrets


So, you think your employment history is lacking some pizazz?

Whether you’re panicking that your latest waitressing job isn’t really selling your abilities or your current role is unrelated to your desired career path, there are three very simple ways to ensure your employment history brings the wow factor.

Read on to discover how to make any job look impressive on your CV, no matter what your experience.

1. Use the job description to anchor your CV

A really simple way to make any job look impressive on your CV is by tailoring it to the job description.

All too often, job hunters cram their CV with every skill and ability in their repertoire – and that’s going to do more harm than good to your applications. If your CV is too busy with irrelevant information, it will distract the recruiter from the good stuff.

But by tailoring your CV and showcasing the most relevant information, you’ll prove you’re a great match for the role – regardless of the jobs you’ve had!

In order to anchor your CV to the job description, go through the skills listed in the spec and highlight those that match your own skill set. For example, if the job requires someone who can work with a team and you developed teamwork skills in your last supermarket job, highlight it!

By referencing relevant skills in detail on your CV, you’re therefore more likely to progress in the application process.

2. Showcase your talent with action words

By utilising a range of action words or verbs in your CV, you’ll showcase your talent and make your employment history look impressive.

Action words help illustrate your duties by highlighting your achievements with power. They also make sure that your bullet points pack a punch because they remove the passive voice. As a result, using powerful and emotive active words will keep a recruiter engaged in your CV.

In order to make your employment history look amazing, you first need to identify and remove all instances of the passive voice – this is where the object comes before the verb. If you’re not a grammar nerd, don’t worry.  These passive sentences and phrases are typically longer than active voice phrases, so they’re pretty easy to spot.

You can also try adding ‘by me’ to the end of sentences to test the passive voice. Here are a few passive and active examples to help you out:

  • Passive: The ball was thrown by me.
  • Active: I threw the ball.
  • Passive: A financial reward was given to me after winning employee of the month.
  • Active: I was given a financial reward after winning employee of the month.

Once you’ve identified the passive voice, you need to replace it with powerful action words. Some examples include: chaired, directed, oversaw, planned, consulted, analysed, conducted, remodelled, implemented… you get the gist. It’s worth using a thesaurus or just Googling action words to find the right terminology for your skills.

3. Reference numbers and specific examples

If you really want to make your employment history look impressive, the easiest way to do so is by including some numbers and specific examples.

For example, it’s all very well saying that you were responsible for training new customer service staff, but in order to really showcase your ability, you need to add some more weight.

Check out these impressive examples:

  • Without specifics: I trained new customer service staff
  • With specifics: Trained new customer service staff on a one-on-one basis and in groups of up to 20 on a variety of software and techniques
  • Without specifics: I have strong communication skills
  • With specifics: Strong communication skills developed through presentations to clientele across all major sectors in the engineering industry

That little extra detail explains a lot more about your duties, achievements, and most importantly, your capabilities.

If you keep these three secrets in mind when writing your CV, you can make any job look seriously impressive. Once you’ve made the tweaks, upload your CV today, and watch the interview invitations roll in.

About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.


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