Make Your CV Stand Out

Make Your CV Stand Out

Are you sick of writing the same thing over and over again on your CV?

If you’ve been a Personal Assistant for most of your working career, you may find that the description for your roles sound exactly the same.

Most people only include what their key responsibilities were, which is a mistake. Recruiters already have a good understanding of what responsibilities and tasks a role will have.

A recruiter will usually only scan your CV for less than 30 seconds, and sometimes it will be computer software that scans them. So how do you stand out as a candidate and make your CV less repetitive?

The way to stand out is to turn your CV into an achievements based resume.

In an achievement based CV, you can include a brief description of each role, but more importantly – you list your Key Achievements instead of simply what the role was.

You might think that your responsibilities ARE your key achievements, but describing your unique achievements and experience is what makes you stand out.

Here are some questions to help you identify your key achievements:

  • What were the achievements you experienced in each role? Where did you make a positive impact to your executive, stakeholders, clients, the business, the team?
  • What successes are you most proud of?
  • What do/did you get positive feedback for?
  • Have you improved a process – no matter whether big or small?
  • What are you known as an expert or go-to person for?
  • When have you taken on extra responsibilities on top of your normal role?
  • Have you been a mentor or support for others?
  • Have you had an innovative ides that has been implemented?
  • Have you worked on any projects or one-off assignments?
  • Have you been a part of any committees or voluntary groups?
  • Look beyond your core role. For example how do you build team culture, interact with clients or maintain effective stakeholder relationships.
  • It’s also important to include specific and tangible results, impacts or outcomes. E.g – number of attendees, volume of events, percentage changes, and so on.

Don’t be afraid to promote the great work that you do! Your CV should be a unique representation of YOU and how you have excelled in your roles – not generic role descriptions.

Once you’re in the interview, you usually only have 1 hour to showcase your achievements. So you will stand out if you also have these listed on your CV beforehand.

Some final tips:

  • Keep your CV to the point. 2 pages max (double sided). Only include relevant information and don’t ramble. It shouldn’t be a novel!
  • Personalise it. You can include a personal statement at the beginning that describes your overall career experience and goals. You can also list your key strengths here too. Don’t forget to also add in your education, training, languages, computer/system skills.
  • Tailor your CV. If you would like to apply for different roles than you have usually worked, create a tailored CV. This is a CV where your achievements and goals are tailored towards the needs of the new role or industry you want.
  • Easy to read. Make sure your CV is well formatted, has no errors and consistent fonts. Spell check and getting someone else to read it are key! Simple is better – avoid fancy formats, photos and unnecessary white space.

Have a personalised CV will help to increase your confidence and feel proud of your achievements. It will be easier to reference these during your interviews and WILL make you stand out.

Michelle Robb

Michelle Robb is a Career Coach, writer and speaker who is passionate about empowering corporate women to build a career and life that they LOVE! With an Advanced Diploma in Management, a Certified Life Coach and over 15 years experience in leadership roles, Michelle has coached and mentored hundreds of women in places such as Optus, Telstra, Macquarie Bank and through her own business, Michelle Robb Coaching. When Michelle is not helping women find happiness and success, she can usually be found with her friends and family, eating delicious food and coffee, and then burning it off on the Coogee to Bondi walk!


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