March 30, 2022
Putting a good CV together takes time so it’s easy to see why some people make one good version and then leave it at that. But the truth is you should update your CV regularly to take account of changes and to keep it fresh and interesting.
Covid has resulted in many people losing work and being forced to enter the world of job seeking. Competition is rife and having an enticing and updated CV is vital if you are to successfully pin down a new role.
If you are not sure how to update your CV, don’t fear. We have put together an easy CV checklist that will enable you to rise to the top of the shortlist and grab that much wanted new position. Read on and you will find out how to format your CV, what to avoid, the skills for CV and the things that must be included.
What to include in your CV
- Personal details – name and contact information. Make sure your phone number is current.
- Summary – one paragraph will suffice. Give an overview of what you offer including key skills, background, industries you have experience in, the role you’re seeking and the powerful skills you can bring to the table.
- Experience – begin with your current role and work backwards. Don’t make this too long. All that is needed is business name, your job title and the dates you worked there. With your current employer, add a couple of lines about who they are, what they do and your main responsibilities and achievements.
- Education – show school, college and university along with details of certifications achieved. (You don’t need to bother with grades). Add any additional training such as courses, online or in person.
- Key skills to add in CV – add skills in CV, for example, you may be an outstanding salesperson or IT consultant so this should be emphasised within your skills for CV.
- Hobbies and interests – this is just to give a glimpse of your personality so keep it short.
- References – rather than add names and addresses you can state that references are available. This means your current employer will not be contacted unless you agree to it.
- Concise – keep your CV succinct and easy to scan through. Cut the waffle.
- Proofreading – do a spell check and run through Grammarly.com. Get a second opinion to avoid missing errors.
- Fonts – never use a mix of fonts as this looks very amateurish. Choose one and stick with it i.e. Calibri size 11 font.
- Accuracy – make sure you haven’t embroidered the truth concerning qualifications and abilities as this may be picked up later by your new employer.
- Update – is your current role depicted? Remove old addresses or contact information.
- Professional – your CV should look good so use a CV template if it helps. Never overdo it with multiple colours and other additions, as this can look tacky.
What not to do with your CV
- Headshot – this isn’t required and can take up too much space.
- Personal stuff – forget the date of birth, age and marital status – these have nothing to do with how well you perform.
- Email – don’t use a silly email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Create a new email address that is business-like and professional – using your name is good.
- Experience – don’t list all your jobs right back to when you left school. Showing details of your current job and the last four roles is fine and cuts the verbiage.
- Reason for wanting to leave – this can be discussed at the interview so don’t add this.
- Salary – again, something to be discussed at interview or final offer.
General CV tips
- Saving – save your updated CV as a Word document with your name and year so that you can update it frequently. When sending to an employer, it’s good practice to send a PDF version. If the CV is for a certain position, you should save it as ‘CVjob’ replacing ‘job’ with the name of the role i.e. CV Sales or CV IT Skills.
- Headline – consider starting your CV with a winning headline such as ‘Sales Professional’ or ‘IT expert’ along with your name.
- Extra information – add LinkedIn details, professional qualifications and work-related groups you may belong to.
Update your CV at least once a year and always check that it fits with the position you are applying for. Some job applicants like to refresh their CV for each role, making it extra appealing for the recruiter.
If you are struggling with how to make your CV, get in touch with the team at CMD Recruitment. You will also find plenty of information on our website, such as how to make a video CV. In our blog section, you will find plenty of useful information, including articles about CV creation.
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