There can be no denying that a CV and a good CV at that, is one of the most important tools at your disposal when you’re looking for a job. It’s vital therefore to make sure that it’s fulfilling its purpose – that it is portraying you in the best light possible to any prospective employers. We’ve previously stressed just how important it is to tailor your CV for each job that you apply for, although you’ll of course need a good basic CV to start with. The thing is though that even the best basic CV needs a little freshening up every now and again. If you feel that your CV could do with a little updating, here are 5 Ways to give your CV a makeover that should help.
Remove the irrelevant
If your CV still lists that week-long work experience that you did at school and it’s some 20 years since you left school, it’s time to get rid! Your CV should be filled with relevant information related directly to the skills and experience that are needed for whatever job you are applying for. After all, you’ve only got 2 A4 pages – so don’t waste valuable space by listing entirely irrelevant facts or details that an employer does not need to or want to know.
Focus on Results and Achievements
Many candidates make the mistake of simply cutting and pasting their standard job duties from their official job descriptions, straight into their CV. This of course tells an employer nothing. Well, not ‘nothing’ per se, but nothing about them as an individual. Rather than simply listing job duties as they’d be listed on a formal job description, focus instead on tangible results and achievements. Outline how you brought value to your previous employer – this is what will differentiate you from all the other candidates.
Add some keywords
We’re not suggesting that your CV should be littered with jargon and buzzwords galore. However, it is important to include certain keywords that will catch an employer or recruiter’s eye. Look at their job advertisements and identify what keywords stand out. Then look at your CV and see if you’ve even used those same words. If not, get them added. If your CV is on an online job board, using the right keywords is crucial – otherwise it may never appear on any search results that an employer or recruiter undertakes.
Check check and check again
It’s all in the detail. There is no sense in spending hours, days even, in creating what you feel is the perfect CV only to find that you’ve made some glaring mistake – an incorrect spelling perhaps or some other grammatical error. Make sure that you take the time to check if there are any spelling mistakes or the like. If you’re not that comfortable doing this, get someone else to do it for you. Also, don’t simply rely on the spellcheck function on your computer – it may not always pick up on things. Sometimes, the human eye can be a much more powerful tool!
Leave room for more
As much as your CV is there to showcase you to a prospective employer, it’s in essence meant to create in them a desire to find out more. If you get invited for interview – that’s just what they’re doing – finding out some more information about you and what you’re about. If however your CV is packed full of all the info, all the detail about everything you’ve ever done, then do they really need an interview? Probably not. Your CV should be used as a way of highlighting and showcasing your skills and experience but in a way that leaves the reader, in this case the employer curious to find out more.
We hope that by highlighting 5 Ways to give your CV a makeover, we help some of you when you’re next updating your CV.
Got any other tips that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below?