The new year is traditionally a time for new starts, and setting goals for the year ahead. This may be why January is the most popular month for job changes.
If you’re thinking about changing jobs, one of the first steps you should take is to make sure your CV is up to scratch.
Your CV will most likely be your first chance to impress hiring managers – so it needs to showcase your skills, experience and qualifications to best effect.
So before you throw yourself into your job search, dust the cobwebs off your CV and give it a makeover.
Here’s how to refresh your CV in seven simple steps:
Update the format
The way you format your CV can have a big impact on its success.
In fact, a survey by jobs website Reed found that 50% of hiring managers consider a logical layout the most important feature of a CV.
With this in mind, formatting your CV in a clear and coherent way should be a top priority.
There are no hard and fast rules to formatting, but it’s a good idea to think about what you want hiring managers to see first.
If you have a lot of experience that’s relevant to the roles you’re applying for, put this at the top.
If you’re a recent graduate with little or no work experience, it might work better to make your qualifications more prominent.
Rewrite your personal statement
Your personal statement, or profile, is the section at the top of your CV that highlights your most relevant skills and experience and states your career aims.
It’s a way of introducing yourself and drawing attention to the things you want hiring managers to notice most.
Dedicate a good amount of time to getting it just right, as it will set the tone for the rest of your CV.
Try to include a few concrete examples from your career that demonstrate your value and expertise, and communicate them concisely and engagingly.
For more tips on how to craft the perfect personal statement, check out this article we wrote about it.
Finetune your work history
You don’t have to include every job you’ve ever done on your CV.
If you’ve got a lot of experience, or have worked in several different industries, only include career highlights or experience that’s relevant to the roles you’re applying for.
By trimming down your work history, you’ll give yourself more space to include examples and achievements from your previous roles that illustrate your expertise.
Add industry keywords
Demonstrate your knowledge of the sector you want to work in by adding industry keywords to your CV.
There’s no need to go overboard, but adding a few buzzwords here and there will show hiring managers you know what you’re talking about.
Busy hiring managers often skim read CVs, so including the right words will help grab their attention and make them take a second look.
Freshen up the design
If you haven’t updated your CV in a while, chances are it may be looking a little tired. Bring it back into the present by giving it a fresh new look.
We’re not suggesting you go for a really out-there design. The most important things to consider are that it looks clean, professional and contemporary.
It may be as simple as choosing a sleeker font, or spacing things out a bit more. A few small changes can make a big difference!
Focus on your current job
Hiring managers are going to want to know where you currently are in your career, so dedicate some time to explaining your current (or most recent) employment.
Include any significant accomplishments or achievements from the last year, and try to relate them to the requirements of the jobs you’re applying to.
If you’re a recent graduate, do the same for any work experience or volunteering you’ve done, or include achievements from your university or college career.
Proofread, proofread and proofread again
We can’t stress the importance of proofreading enough.
A single spelling or grammar mistake may be enough to put a hiring manager off your CV, so check, double check and triple check it before you send it out.
We hope these tips help you refresh your CV. For the ultimate CV update, why not let us craft you the perfect CV?