How do you make sure your CV stands out?

We all know that when we send out our CV that we will more than likely be up against a few other candidates with similar skills. So now, how can you ensure that your CV is the one that turns heads and gets the right people talking? How do you make sure that you get that interview?

At Communicate Recruitment, we receive hundreds of applications per day between our various niches of specialisation. Our consultants know exactly what to look for and what comes across as mere "fluff". The crux of it is – keep the good, scrap the bad. How do you know the difference?

There are a few key factors to consider that has little to do with the content itself:

  • Length of your CV and cover letter
  • Layout
  • Typography
  • Iconography (if you use icons)
  • Readability

Once you have the above sorted out, now you need to make sure the content of your CV is on point. If you are opting for a more creative CV, make sure that you don't come across as trying too hard that you miss the main goal – highlighting your skills and experience. Content-related points to consider include:

  • Jargon – Use the correct jargon for the role you're applying for.
  • Employment history – Company name, date range (month & year) and a brief description. When you are referring to your current job, use present tense; when referring to previous jobs, use past tense.
  • Contact & personal information – name, surname, residential, email, contact number, ID.
  • Education – High school, university studies, online courses and certifications.
  • Skills – list your skills and the level at which you're skilled at that.
  • Achievements – if you have achieved a feat in your current or previous company, mention it. An example could be how you saved the firm money by doing something different. This goes a long way to prove your value.
  • Photo – If you opt for a photo on your CV, ensure it is a clear and professional headshot. Black and white/sepia is preferred.

Once you've ensured that your CV has the right content and layout, there's one last box to tick – check, check and check again. The last thing you need when applying for a new job is for your prospective employer to pick up typo's or flaws in your CV that could hamper your chances of getting the interview. If need be ask a friend or family member to review it.


If you're in the market for a position in Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight, Contracting or Supply Chain, feel free to download our CV checklist below or register a profile on

Resume Checklist.pdf