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Does your CV have the X Factor?

Posted: 22 Dec 2016

The whole idea of having the 'X factor' is undeniably a cliché. In recent times we hear the X Factor phrase in many different contexts. Obviously, we all know that the phrase has become greatly associated with popular culture Television shows etc, however setting that aside, I believe that if we try to take this phrase back to its original meaning, we could all learn a few things from it.

To have the 'X Factor' could be seen as having some kind of skill or talent to such a degree that it sets you apart from all others with similar skills. The same concept can be applied when searching for employment. If you demonstrate throughout the recruitment process that you have something unique about your abilities and work ethic, you are setting a standard that ranks you above your competition.

Businesses and recruiters are always announcing that they are looking for candidates that exhibit the 'X Factor.' Despite the phrase being used so often within the employment world, it can still be difficult to know exactly what is meant by this. For example when writing the content for a CV, how do you prove that you have the X Factor?

Your CV is the first time your name and experience will be introduced to a potential employer, so there is no doubt that it needs to make an impact. But how can you make sure that your CV is going to impress?

A few things to consider when preparing your CV are:

Write for the Job you want:

If you already know what role you are interested in, then tailor your CV to express how suited you are for that role! There is no point including irrelevant information that will never benefit what you are trying to achieve. Try to think like an employer – If you were faced with a relevant and straight to the point CV or a CV that is vague and doesn't highlight the purpose of the role – which one would you choose?

Be Honest:

Make sure that everything you write is honest and based on fact. If you are successful in the CV stage and are then taken forward to interview stage, you will be asked about the experiences and skills you have stated on your CV, so make sure that you can back it all up!

Include the basics:

The basic information that you include will guide the structure of your CV. The basic details will cover all the crucial information so it is vital that you take the time to address them. For example, remember to state; contact information, a personal overview, any skills/achievements, career history/experience, education etc.

Presentation: 

The presentation of your CV is crucial – remember to keep it simple. Unnecessary editing and images/colours can be extremely off putting for potential employers and recruiters. A CV that has a design that is over the top can be extremely distracting; after all it is your content that needs to sell your abilities not how artistic your CV is! This does not mean that you shouldn't pay attention to how your CV looks – make sure that your CV is well structured with a clear and defined layout with a professional yet simple style. A well presented CV will stand out – so make sure that you get it right!

Language and structure:

Try to take a formal tone and approach to writing your CV. It is also important to remember that in order to give your CV an overall successful feel to it, you need to keep the language, tone and style of the content professional. Remember to structure your CV so that it reads and flows easily – try to use short and straight to the point paragraphs, and bullet points to list relevant information.

Your CV is the first and one of the most important stages of the recruitment process. It is your CV that will kick start your job search and determine your success. Make sure that your CV demonstrates how great you are at what you do, as your CV is the only representation that potential employers have of you before you met them, so giving your CV the X Factor may just be what makes your job search a success!

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