Much like your home or wardrobe, your CV needs a spring clean at least once a year. Whether you’re applying for a new job or just keeping on top of your progressing career, it’s important to stay on top of your resume and keep it neat. So, if you’ve not done so in a while, it’s time to dust off your CV and start decluttering!
Make it ‘skimmable’
Your CV needs to grab your potential employer’s attention from the moment they pick it up, so make sure you signpost your most important assets and your most relevant experience. This way, whoever is reading it can see almost immediately how well you fit the demands of the job description. You
may choose to use bold text to highlight skills, job titles or responsibilities – though keep this consistent and don’t go overboard, as you may end up making your CV look messy.
Declutter Your Content
Be selective. It can be tempting to mention every skill, certification and career milestone, but they may not all be relevant. Experience wise, employers are mainly interested in the past 10-15 years of your career. If you’re a young professional, don’t take up too much space fleshing out your content with experience from weekend jobs or irrelevant university or college pastimes. Employers are of course interested in your education and qualifications, and by all means mention any committees or societies you belonged to – but don’t focus on these or shoehorn them in to fit the job description.
Wash Away your Typos & Dated Terminology
Spelling and grammar mistakes are often a big, red flag for employers, as silly, avoidable mistakes imply that you lack attention to detail. Workplace and recruitment terminology is evolving almost constantly, be sure your resume reflects current trends – both generally and in your relevant sector. Alter and update so you don’t miss out!
Fill in the Gaps
When you’ve edited your existing content and the dust has settled, work out what’s missing. Are there any skills or career milestones that you’ve forgotten to mention. If there are any employment gaps on your resume, emphasise the things that you learnt during your time out of work. How did you spend your time? Did you undertake any activities that prepared you for returning to work? Don’t let gaps on your CV hold you back.
Especially this one…
One gap you absolutely should not leave in your CV is your contact details – your current ones! The biggest mistake you could make is not including a correct phone number and email address. If you’ve applied for a job and impressed with your CV, employers and recruiters need to be able to contact you. Failing to update your old phone number or your misspelt email address could cost you your dream job. Double check your details and make sure that employers are able to leave voicemails should they try and contact you when you are busy.
Tidy it up
You wouldn’t turn up to an interview in your lounge wear. Just like first impressions at interviews, as far as your CV is concerned, looks do count. Before anyone even begins reading your CV, they will register its appearance and format, so make sure it looks polished, clean and easy to read. Choose a medium-size, clear, black font. If you do choose to emphasise your skills or achievements with bold font, do so sparingly.