The visceral difference between you and the next candidate with the same qualifications is YOU. Your personality is just as important as your accolades.  

Want to nail your CV and go straight through to an interview? We thought so and here's how you can. Show your personality to the recruiter! Make yourself stand out by adding a personal touch to your CV. 

Recruiters have to sift through hundreds of job applications a week. The average job receives on average 249 resumes, Glassdoor. Therefore, candidates are expected to really stand out with their CV and cover letter. 

That is why a blunt resume and simply sending in the same generic cover letter will not get you that interview. 

89% of hiring failures are due to a poor cultural fit. Recruiters are increasingly concerned with making the choice that will apese existing cultural demands. Adding a personal touch is the way to go. Enabling a potential employer to gather an idea as to how you would fit into the culture of the office. 

Make a recruiters job easier and shortlist yourself. Here’s how your application will be moved to the top of the pile and be reviewed promptly:

Talk about your personal passions and (relatable) hobbies 

No matter how much you love your job, there’s more to life than work. You’re a real person, with passions and hobbies. Don’t be afraid to mention these in your resume and cover letter, as these will show you’re a healthy human being. 

Hobbies and activities outside of work promote good health so it's not something to shy away from when summarising yourself. 

Some of your activities might even be relatable to the job you’re applying for. Mentioning them will show you’re active in the field, and know what you’re talking about.

Link to your social media

Obviously, your LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook are great channels that show the more personal “non-work related” version of you. Sharing your channels will provide a recruiter or hiring manager with a better idea of who you are. 

In fact, Jobvite found 92% of recruiters admit to using social media to find candidates. “If you don’t include URLs to your professional online profiles, hiring managers will look you up regardless,” Business Insider. 

Make sure it’s appropriate and not showing any photos of last night’s binge drinking extravaganza. We’re all guilty, but we wouldn’t want this to be the first impression for our future boss. More than 9 in 10 recruiters are looking at your social media profiles, that’s according to a study by Jobvite.

Pick a design that suits you

When applying for a job, you’re basically selling 'product you'. And just like any good marketer would do in promoting a product or service, they’d work with a design that matches it. 

Pick an outstanding, yet professional, font and work with colours and layouts that suit your personality and style. Make it clear and straightforward however adding a little flair is a way to stand out from that digital pile of CV’s and cover letters. “40% of recruiters are put off by too much design” According to research conducted by Undercover Recruiter.

Adapt your cover letter to the company you’re applying for

On a more in-depth level, you can personalize your application by matching the addressed key selection criteria to your skills and experience. You have under seven seconds to make an impression on a recruiter! A study undertaken by The Ladders shows, recruiters spend an average only 6.25 seconds looking at a resume before determining if someone is a good fit for the role.

Skip the more generic “creative” and “great communicator” and pick out a few that really define you. You are unique, you just need to convey your individuality to the reader. This is your opportunity to really show why you’re a good fit for the job by really tailoring your cover letter. It's your first opportunity to win over the recruiter. 

Speak your own language

Writing a cover letter or email? Leave out generic expressions, and use sentences that you would use in real life. Also when writing, it’s possible to show personality. There’s something valuable in showing vulnerability, keep things lighthearted, transparent and honest. 

Be careful not to change your cover letter into a diary. Keep it readable and full of interesting information. Of course, ensure your language is grammatically correct! 59% of recruiters will reject someone who makes spelling mistakes, Undercover Recruiter

Put a voice to the name

After a couple of days after sending in your resume and cover letter, follow up with a call. This way, you can introduce yourself a bit more, showing your strong (phone) communication skills.  

81% of hiring managers want a follow-up message within two weeks from a candidate post resume submission, Glassdoor.

Career Builder, found that 22% of recruiters would reject a candidate who didn’t send a thank-you following an interview. 

Side note: be aware of the closing date of a vacancy and any other notes regarding calling the recruiter or hiring manager. You don’t want to end up being the annoying candidate who didn’t read the job description well and keeps on calling.  

Implementing a few personal touches can optimise your 6 seconds. Make yourself stand out from the candidate crowd, add your personality to your CV! 


 

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