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If you are a job seeker, is your CV singing and dancing on your behalf? If not, it’s good that you are reading this as we must have your attention. However, for how long do we have your attention for? As job seekers, this is exactly what happens when a hiring manager picks your CV up and the CV is not singing and dancing on your behalf.

Is your CV singing and dancing

By Catherine Adenle

If you are in need of a job, is your CV singing and dancing? Ask yourself, how many times when you read an article online do you click on a link that navigates you away from the text that was the original object of your inquiry?

Why do you find yourself doing that? Again, will you actually read this post to the end to explore how you can make your CV sing and dance on your behalf, or will you decide to click on another link, check your Internet if you are at work or go to your Outlook inbox or skim to another article or blog? Well, as job seekers, you better read this if you are passionate about getting a job or if you are in the process of revamping your CV. Even if you don’t belong to any of the named groups, I can bet that it is probably time to revisit your ‘core CV’ and update it.

Nowadays, you never know when the next cut to overheads is going to be made in your company. So, to help with making your CV noticeable, I ask that you just stick with this article and see what the ‘WIIFM’ is for you.

Agreed, there may be nothing for you to read here if you own your own company. If you are self-employed, you still have to be sure that you can sell what you have to offer to potential buyers. Even then, you can still read this article and leave a comment or share your own tips below.

Job search competition 

There is now more competition than ever before to capture the attention of a potential employer or capture any type of rewarding business lead. As a result, individuals and businesses are searching for new and innovative ways to connect with people. The job search competition is unbelievably fierce; you can only deny this if you are not from Planet Earth.

Almost all the career gurus are advising you to build your brand, get LinkedIn, be on TwitterFacebookBlog, tap into the hidden market out there or launch a strategic job search campaign. Let’s face it, to do all of this; you still need a PB (Personal Brochure – not BP, the oil folks) in place. This PB is your own CV.

Stand out

The question is how do you ensure that your CV stands out of the multitude of CV in an electronic or physical paper pile? With so many qualified professionals seeking employment, it is not enough that you are competent, skilful, experienced or smart. Your PB must be lean and mean; it has to levitate and do all sorts of acrobatic tricks in a simple way to make a memorable impression. To put it straight, it must ‘wow’ your prospective employers.


1. It is important that you prioritize important information.

The first page of your CV must carry your important information. As a potential recruiter, if I have several CVs to trawl through, why should I turn the page of your drab CV? Trust me; I’ll drop it like a bad potato.

So, prioritize your content so that your most important and relevant experience is listed first, with key accomplishments listed at the top. Do not list important data in the lower sections of your CV.

If you can write a targeted, concise, catchy and knock them dead mission statement about yourself and the type of position you seek at the top of your CV then, go for it. Ensure that it stands out in a professional, no-nonsense way that shows you have taken the time to perfect a powerful opening for your CV.

2. Use pertinent keywords

These days, most employers use computers to screen CVs for the keywords that they are looking for. Include words from the job description and always assume that your CV will be scanned by an applicant tracking system which is a CV search engine. It’s more than likely, many of the keywords CV databases will be searching for are the functions that are listed in the job description. Computers are now commonly used by employers to pre-screen CVs and separate the qualified candidates from unqualified ones. For example, if you’re looking for a publishing editor’s position, and the job description calls for someone with experience of copy editing, managing publications and liaising with authors, then all of those words should appear in your CV.

3. You better let your CV sing the right tune to the right listeners. 

What’s your best iTune song  on your iPod? Ok, now imagine your CV singing that tune into your chilled ears. Oh well, you’ll probably call an exorcist if your CV should suddenly burst out singing to you. So, don’t let me take it that far but I am sure that you get the gist. My point here is, even if your personal branding is flaming hot and on fire, but is not carefully packaged and aimed at the right audience or is not ‘glowing or beaming’ the right message, your hot personal brand means jack! So ensure that your CV is well targeted at the company and role that you are applying for.

View Free Sample CVsFree Job Based CV Templates10 CV Clangers Countdown: 20 Reasons Why Your CV

4. Look to customize your CV for each job opening. 

A word of caution here, don’t get too carried away. When I say customize, I don’t mean that you should use a coloured flowery paper with your text in different fonts and colours. To be honest, if you are not customizing your CV to each job opening, you are missing a great and perfect opportunity to ensure that your CV lands in the hands of the right employer. As most CV are processed by recruiting software that helps employers find the perfect candidates for their job openings, this means it is fundamental that in today’s job market that every CV appear targeted to increase your chances to get found.

5. Mind the Gaps.

If you have any time gaps in your employment, which is sometimes inevitable, you should find a way to address them. Time gaps are often a concern by potential recruiters.

For all they know, that gap may mean you could be anywhere doing anything during the time that might not be good for their company’s image. If you list only years of employment to cover up any employment gaps, such as 2010-2013, an intelligent recruiting management system may flag this up. The truth is; you may be better off explaining your employment gaps if there is no other way to deal with a massive gap. You may put, ‘Taking a year off to travel with family’ alongside the relevant dates. The truth is you would have gained some useful skills during the travels which could help your hiring process.

6. Keep it clean and simple.

Use a simple CV format for all of your online electronic CV submissions. When you design the format, make sure that you keep the design simple, don’t go to town, and unleash your inner design genius mojo onto your CV just because you can! Leave an ample white space and no pictures unless you are applying to be a graphic designer, model actor or unless you have a new age jazzy visual e-CV like the interactive generated ones on VisualCV. Use fonts like Arial or Courier 12-point to ensure clarity and readability. Read through and ask someone else to double-check that there are no errors or bad grammar lurking anywhere on your CV. 

7. Embrace the new way of doing things by making the internet and web 2.0 tools your friend.

Just your solid CV alone may not do the trick.You can use readily available online visual CV tools to create an online CV that includes all the facets of a traditional CV, with add-ons like video, images, and links to your accomplishments Employers are now increasingly looking in many different online places for pertinent skills, talent and that extra factor. Potential employers are using network sites including Facebook, MySpaceLinkedIn, Twitter  and other social networking sites.

If you are in the market for a new job you should be using all of your online profiles and visual CV to help position yourself as an ideal candidate. As a jobseeker, you can follow these 150+ experts on Twitter. In addition to sharing your visual CV with potential employers and networking contacts, you can also link your visual CV to your LinkedIn profile – see the 5 ways you can find a job on LinkedIn.

You can have your presentations on SlideShare to demonstrate your knowledge or work. Be sure to make reference to previous employers, job titles, dates of employment and responsibilities whenever appropriate. Follow the right people and use LinkedIn new follow company feature, let your connections know you are looking for a new job. Important: make sure there is nothing on your public profiles that you wouldn’t want a potential recruiter to come across. Your picture on Facebook showing you falling out of a taxi after a night of pub crawling is not a good one for a potential employer to see. Your e-mail address which reads, ‘l.campbell@popbi**’ is not ideal or particularly funky on your CV or your networking site. Get a free clean e-mail account from GMailMSN or Yahoo. Plus, you may also want to see the 31 tasks that a jobseeker can do every month.

8. Remember CV Do’s & Don’ts.

To conclude, this quick, point-by-point guide will assist you in assessing your current CV and remedy any common mistakes that are committed so that the CV can sing and dance on your behalf.

  • Do always include a cover letter
  • Do get another pair of eyes to check your CV
  • Do attempt to seek a second opinion and advice from a mentor where possible
  • Do compare the job description to see if you have captured the pertinent keywords
  • Do tweak each CV that you send out, one cap does not fit all
  • Do read, read, read and spell-check
  • Do use the Internet and any readily available Social Media tools to let your CV standout
  • Do keep it positive

Dos and

  • Don’t date your CV or title it ‘CV’.
  • Don’t exceed two pages and concisely present your information so that it will be easier and quicker to digest.
  • Don’t mention salaries earned or required unless you are asked.
  • Don’t include information regarding sex, race, age, nationality, political and religious affiliations. Don’t include a photograph, trust me, your stunning good looks will not be an issue for selection.
  • Don’t give reasons for leaving previous positions, if they want to know, they will ask at the interview. Don’t include anything negative when writing about a previous employer or role.

Now that you have finished reading this article, I

hope that you truly realise that the requirements for CV formats

change over time just like any industry. The reason for this is to

keep up with the changing requirements of businesses. Most

businesses are using online tools to hire qualified professional.

It is important that your CV is singing the right song.

No matter the job you are in or looking for, these 7 helpful tips above should help you to create a singing and dancing CV. Keen to hear from you if you have other tips to add.


CVFree Classic Combination CV 3 Types of CVs,
their Advantages and Disadvantages Free Job Based CV
Templates for Skills Based CV CV: The
More CV Keywords to Get You Noticed
5 Power Words to make Your CV Get Noticed Top 3
CV Formats: Which one is right for you?
 Honesty is the best policy on CVs

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Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

Latest posts by Catherine Adenle (see all)

6 thoughts on “Job Seekers: Is Your CV Singing and Dancing on Your Behalf?

  1. Catherine, thank you for a timely post. It is becoming increasingly hard to get a job by purely relying on a basic CV. One has to go beyond that to get noticed.

  2. I admire your style of writing because you say it as it is. You are direct, no mincing of words. I am now working on my resume to make it sing and dance:)

  3. I see you share interesting content here, you can earn some extra money, your website has big potential, for
    the monetizing method, just type in google – K2 advices how to monetize a website

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