It’s officially Spring!
We are not too sure if its the turn of a new season, the lighter mornings and evenings, or the kids finally going back to school (we honestly have a newfound respect for teachers!), but we finally feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
With Spring comes the inevitable spring cleaning, of course, that’s if you have a cupboard that has remained untouched throughout this entire pandemic – we know that being locked down has certainly made us clean things that we wouldn’t usually consider!
So, if your house is already spruced and shined to within an inch of its life, instead, use the time you’d usually spend dusting the cobwebs away to spring clean your CV and get it in tip-top condition.
We aren’t the type to advocate a ‘one page CV’, however, we do advocate a simple and informative CV that doesn’t spread over 10 pages and there are always ways in which you can trim it down. First, thoroughly read through your CV and pinpoint anything that doesn’t align with your current career goals or is outdated.
Have you detailed every single responsibility you undertook in a role that you had 15 years ago? These points may have been relevant when you started your career, or even for the role you applied to at the time, but ask yourself if they are applicable now. If some points are, then try to reduce it down to core responsibilities and achievements, and if they aren’t, you can simply reduce it down to job title, employer, and dates.
Now it’s time to revitalise it! You don’t need to re-write the entire thing, but it’s a great opportunity to see what you could do be doing better. There is always room for improvement, so do take a look through your previous experience and ask yourself if there is anything that’s missing that would support any future opportunities or career goals, if so, tweak your responsibilities and add them in.
It’s also a great time to evaluate certain sections of your CV. For example, a part that often gets overlooked is the personal statement section. When reading through ask yourself, could it be written better, does it show who I am as a person and my goals, does it summarise my experience and my achievements? If the answer is no then delete it and start again. It may be that instead of drafting a new paragraph you end up with a snappy tagline such as ‘Marketing Manager, who has spent the past ten years building brands and connections.’
Next up you’re going to build upon what’s already there. Add your most recent experience and always make sure it’s at the top of your CV – clear for any HR Manager or potential employer to see! Add your most recent experience but before you, consider if it is going to add value. Think about the recent projects you’ve undertaken, any new skills that you may have learnt, and any additional responsibilities you have taken on. Once you’ve done this, add them in!
This is also a great time to see if you’ve added any accomplishments to your CV. It’s a great way for potential employers to determine your success and what you can bring to the table. Perhaps it’s time to change a few things… rather than say ‘created and managed social media content’ try wording it ‘grew social channels by 78% through effective content’. See how much more effective that is? Never underestimate a stat – employers love ‘em!
You don’t have to be an Adobe whizz and creative genius for this one, you just need to consider the design and format. Is it easy to read and understand? Is there plenty of white space? Does it flow nicely and show your progression clearly? If the answer is no then jiggle it around.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to CVs, but from experience, the most successful is in the following format: Personal Statement; Skills and Achievements; Experience; Education; Interests. This is, of course, dependent on where you are in your career – if you are just starting out you may want to add education first. Another pointer to consider is a mix of paragraphs and bullet points does score ‘easy to read’ points.
Congrats – you’ve made it this far! The last thing you have to do is check it over, even double or triple check it if you can. It’s also worthwhile asking someone else to read it if you can as they tend to pick up on points that you may have skimmed over. It’s also the perfect time to see if your CV aligns with your LinkedIn profile as the two should always marry up.
And there we have it, our top tips on how to spring clean your CV! It’s now ready for action if you ever need it!