How to fine-tune your CV to stand out amongst other job seekers

The current status of the job-seeking market is turbulent to say the least. With recent reports suggesting that just shy of 170,000 tech workers were laid off between January and March this year, it’s no wonder so many people are now looking for a new role. But how do you help yourself stand out above the hundreds of other job seekers? We spoke to Laura Wilkinson, Global Talent Acquisition Manager from Intent HQ, who shared her top tips on fine-tuning your CV to help land your dream job.

cv writing tips

How to fine-tune your CV to stand out amongst other job seekers

“7.4 seconds…

That’s how long the average recruiter will spend looking at your CV. Not long, right? Especially in a time where layoffs are a weekly occurrence meaning more applicants per vacancy – making your application somewhat of a needle in a haystack.

The average time from search to an offer can take an exhausting 4 months & so the whole experience of searching for that next role, whatever your reasons, can leave you feeling discouraged, rejected & a whole host of other negative emotions.

So, what can you do to sharpen your number one tool – your CV?



Craft an engaging “about me/self summary” paragraph at the start of your CV – grabbing the attention of the recruiter & leading them to read on.

After screening thousands of CVs in my career so far, I can tell you no recruiter wants to read “I am a reliable, hard working individual who works well in a team & by themselves.” This generic, lacklustre intro is sure to dissolve those 7.4 seconds into nothing.

“Well, what do I write?” you ask. If you want to land a role & you want to land it quickly, then you may need to spend a little time thinking about how you want to market yourself.

Think about the level of role you want. Are you using the right language to capture your experience? Are you using “doer” language when, in fact, what you are is a strategic leader?

Let’s look at an example:

“I am a hardworking, determined individual who is results driven. In my current role, I am responsible for managing the budget & saved 1 million pounds last year. I am looking for a role where I can leverage my skill set to develop & manage a larger team. Outside of work I like baking, walking & reading.”

“What’s wrong with this? Sounds normal.” I hear you say.

Now, read the below:

“A highly collaborative, passionate manager of 5 who has successfully, through my driven team, saved the business over 1 million pounds through optimising our current payroll system. In my next role, I am seeking to deepen my managerial experience by managing a larger team, nurturing & strengthening members both as individuals & as a cohesive unit. Scenic walks with my golden retriever, refining my culinary skills & unwinding with a good mystery book are how I relax & spend my free time.”

You have now let the recruiter know key characteristics about yourself, useful insights into important factors that indicate your suitability & a clear reason for wanting to move on, & very importantly, how you achieved such great results.

Key takeaways:

  • Keep it succinct
  • Capture key points to demonstrate suitable experience
  • Use the right language to bring your CV to life
  • Demonstrate the intent of your move

So, stay positive; it isn’t always easy and there can be knock backs along the way. Keep going and if you get your CV right, you are going to be much closer to landing your next role.”


For a free CV review from our partner TopCV, click here.