How to improve your CV

Even if you’re not planning to change careers or embark on a job search, it is always a good idea to keep your CV up to date should a dream opportunity suddenly crop up. Similarly, if you’ve recently finished an online course or are considering applying to university, sprucing up your CV could improve your odds.

Fortunately, enhancing your CV is easier than you think. Simply adopt the following steps:

Step One: Reflect

Before you embark on a major renovation of your CV, first take a moment to reflect, read and check to see if all of your jobs and responsibilities are up to date. The likelihood is, you’ll only need to add information to your job role from the last year.  Anything/any job you’ve done in the past will already be up to date.  Other things you should consider while reflecting is:

  • Have you done anything outside of work that is worth mentioning i.e. charity work? If so, make reference to it on your CV;
  • Do you have any transferrable skills? If the answer is yes, make a point of highlighting them;
  • Stagnation – if nothing has changed over the last 12 months – and your job has stagnated – then to spruce up your CV we suggest that you prove your commitment to onward development (through your various roles and responsibilities).

Step Two: Have a cull

Your CV needs to be as concise as possible (preferably 2 pages) and should only communicate information that is relevant to the job posts you’re applying for; as the reality is – recruiters will scan your CV. This means you need to make it compelling, interesting and worth their time.
Now, if you’re applying for a specific role, you should remove anything that doesn’t have any bearing on the job you want i.e. if you’re applying to be a copywriter, you shouldn’t talk about your time working in a supermarket. Likewise, you should highlight the qualities they are looking for and avoid being nostalgic or repetitive.

Step Three: Make sure your CV looks professional
How your CV looks will reflect on how employers perceive you. Therefore, you need to make sure that your CV looks professional and that YOU look competent.

  • Tips:
    Review the layout of your CV and ensure all of your information is laid out clearly and intelligently, so readers don’t have to waste time searching for information;
  • Use headers and colours – this will make all essential data easy to scan;
  • Utilise CV templates in Word (or from other word processing software). Alternatively, you will find templates on job search sites that can help you to correctly layout your CV;
  • If you don’t feel confident writing your own CV you can hire a professional to write it for you. While this will involve an initial cost, it will be worth the investment when it improves your employability odds;
  • Get friends and family to read your CV and provide you with feedback. Is it too long? Does it get to the point? Is it easy to read?

Step Four: Consider your CV for the next year
If nothing much has changed in the last year, then it may be worth re-evaluating your circumstances and being proactive. Is there anything you can do in improve your skills and make you more desirable?

  • Tips:
    Volunteer – this will impress prospective employers;
  • Enrol on courses – online courses are a great way to enhance your skills without you having to quit your job. Instead, you can complete these courses from the comfort of your own home, at a pace and time of your own choosing;
  • Go travelling;
  • Get work experience

As you can see, improving your CV can make a massive difference to your job opportunities. Simply learn how to make it professional, concise and easy to navigate, and you could end up getting your dream job.  For more information on our courses, visit our website.

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