Spring Clean Your CV!

Nobody enjoys updating their CV. However, putting it off will only have negative effects on your job search. There is no point putting the effort into searching and applying for jobs if you’re CV is only going to let you down at the first stage.

So now is the time to stop ignoring your old-fashioned and out of date CV for another day. Go and grab a cup of coffee, sit down at your computer and let’s make some changes to get your CV back up to scratch!

First of all you need to find your old CV on your computer. It’s likely that you already have the foundation of a great CV – It’s obviously worked in the past! Now all you need to do is make some small but important changes:

1. Check your personal information

So what’s changed since your last job? Have you moved house? Changed your phone number or email address? These basic facts are crucial for initial contact so make sure they are correct. How will recruiters and hiring managers get in touch with you if they want to arrange an interview?

2. Add social media profiles

Chances are that the last time you updated your CV, no one had even heard of LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up to date and then include a link to it on your CV. Spell out the URL for a printed CV and hyperlink the social profile in your electronic version. This will add an extra dimension to your CV.

3. Add in your most recent job

Your current or most recent role is likely to relate most to the new position you are looking for. So you need to provide information on any accomplishments and skills you developed there. As a rule, don’t think of previous jobs in terms of responsibilities and day-to-day tasks – focus on the value you added to the company or the goals you achieved from working on such tasks.

4. De-clutter the content

Space is valuable so you need to make sure everything on your CV supports your career goals. Old or irrelevant roles can be removed or grouped together in an "additional experience" section to take up less room.

Reduce your education section. If you’ve recently left school or graduated then your education section is important, but further on in your career it is your work experience that will grab the recruiter’s attention. Limit your education section to the college/university name, degree title and grade. There is no need to list individual GCSE subjects or degree modules.

5. Search for the most recent industry keywords

Use Google to look up your most recent job title and the titles of jobs you want to head into. Identify current terminology and skill requirements that might have changed since your last CV update. Then integrate these fresh keywords into your CV. Don’t overdo it, but by having the right keywords in your CV increases the probability of you being matched with the kind of opportunities you’re looking for. By looking at job descriptions for jobs that you want to have, you will be able to see what employers are looking for. You can then tailor your CV to fit with those desired skills. But remember to avoid clichés such as “team player” or “hard worker” – everyone claims to be these, so give clear examples of experiences you’ve had to prove these claims.