The start of the year is the peak time when it comes to the job market. This is great news if you’re looking for a new job since there are more jobs to choose from. So it’s definitely a good time to kick off your job search. On the flip side, this is also the time when most people decide to make a move so there’s also more competition for jobs. This means that your CV or resume has to make an impact. 

Here are 3 things your CV must have so that it can make an impact. 

1.A great layout 

As simple as it might seem, the layout of your CV matters since this is the first impression that you’ll be making. Remember in-house recruiters review thousands of CVs every single day, so if you want to stand out for the right reasons a well-chosen layout is a CV must have

When it comes to picking a template or layout for your CV the one you choose needs looks neat and tidy at a quick glance and of course be clear to read. 

Here are the key things to consider regarding your CV template or layout.


Avoid using too many different fonts, and ideally, stick to two. Instead of using lots of different fonts try using bold or italics for differentiation. 


Stick to one or two colours or use different shades of the same colour. Avoid using lots of different colours as this could end up looking messy or unprofessional


Keep your layout consistent across the whole document. For example, if you decide to put job titles in bold or a different colour, make sure this is the same for all position. 

Industry, Company, and profession

The company you apply to, the industry you’re in and the profession you’re in are all important things to consider. For example, it’s now common for CVs and resumes to be more visual and lots of candidates use graphs and charts to represent their strengths. While this approach might work really well in the creative space or be really clear and valuable for roles requiring specific technical skills, is it the best way to represent soft skills? 

Whatever layout you choose, ask yourself if it’s the best way to provide this information or communicate the message and if someone with very limited time would be able to find the most relevant information as quickly as possible. 

2. Delivery and Results-focused 

A common mistake when it comes to CV writing is to simply write a list of all the things you did in your previous job. Some people take this a step further and even copy paste their previous job descriptions into a CV template. 

While it might be tempting to just list all the tasks you undertook in your previous roles, especially if many of them are in line with what’s listed on the job description this won’t make an impact in a competitive job market. This is what lots of applicants do and while it is important to highlight the work you did, you need to go a step further if you’re going to make an impact and stand out. 

Companies are not looking for people to come and do a job for them, they’re looking for people to come and solve problems. If you want to be selected for an interview and take the next step in your career, then You need to demonstrate through your CV that you’re the person that’s best placed to solve their problems. 

The best way to do this is to talk about the problems that you solved, and the results that you got. By framing past activities in this way, rather than writing a “shopping list” of tasks, your CV will effectively showcase the results you’ve accomplished in past roles and show any company the potential benefit of having you on board. 

HINT: Make sure your CV/ resume includes the following phrases or similar 

  • … as a result of this 
  • … this resulted in…. 
  • the outcome of this was….
  • this lead to…. 
  • this increased…
  • this reduced…

The results will typically be…

  • cost-saving
  • time-saving
  • increased efficiency 
  • increased customer satisfaction rating

PRO TIP: If you have numbers that you can use, then it’s beneficial to use them. But be prepared to talk in detail about them during an interview. 

3. Powerful and impactful words

When describing what you did, it’s good to be clear, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t make an impact. Using powerful verbs to describe your involvement in tasks and projects will help you to be more concise while making it clear that you were not just on the sidelines. 

Here’s an example of 10 words that you could use when describing your past roles and responsibilities: 

  • Implemented
  • Coordinated
  • Optimized
  • Led
  • Headed
  • Formulated
  • Planned
  • Improved
  • Managed
  • Represented

Making sure your CV includes these three things will not only make you stand out but will also mean you’re more likely to get selected for an interview which takes you one step closer to landing that dream job.