As spring approaches you may be feeling the inspiration to refresh and renew different aspects of your life. Cleaning out your drawer of coupons? Check. Sorting through your overstuffed closet? Done. Buying that 2018 planner so you can finally keep track of important dates? Absolutely. Now to tackle the big one – updating your CV.
Even if you’re not looking for a job right now, an updated CV is always handy to have saved in your files. You never know when your situation may change or you’ll meet someone who can help you get your dream job. What a better way to start a job hunt than without the hurried feeling of trying to update a CV before a deadline?
Below you’ll find a list of ideas to keep in mind while refreshing your CV, but keep in mind that your CV should be a reflection of yourself and the job you want – you can get creative with it!
Don’t give too many personal details
While your name and contact details are a must, you don’t need to write everything. For starters, I’ve seen a lot of CVs on open databases which provide National Insurance Numbers. If you’re uploading your CV to a website where anyone with a membership can access it, I would hold off on adding this. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a specific job which asks for your National Insurance in the instructions, then by all means! You always want to be aware and in control of who has access to your personal details.
I’ve also seen my fair share of CVs which mention really personal or honest details – they had a messy divorce, a family member died, citing recreational drugs under their interests (yes, really)…the list goes on. While you never want to lie on your CV, you don’t need to include all the details of your life just yet…and definitely nothing that will make you look unprofessional.
Make sure it’s formatted
Recruiters, hiring managers, and the like can sometimes look at hundreds of CVs a week. When the lines don’t match up, the fonts are different, and the spacing is off, it can really leave an impression – and not the one you want. If you’re not completely tech savvy, don’t worry! There’s no harm in keeping it simple if it’s going to save your time and our eyes. It doesn’t have to be fancy – just formatted evenly across the board.
Fill in the breaks and gaps
When a hiring manager is looking at a CV they’re going to want to have a clear path from where you started to where you are now. Make sure you fill in any career breaks, but again you don’t have to be too personal. A simple “job seeking”, “travelling”, or “personal reasons” will suffice for now. You can elaborate more later. For now, it’s all about keeping it simple and putting your best foot forward.
Tailor it to the job you’re applying for (or want)
While I don’t want to label anything as a ‘mistake’, I think submitting an old CV aimed at getting you a job in a kitchen when you’re applying for an office job comes pretty close. If there is no specific job you’re applying for right now, then just write a simple personal statement highlighting what you’ve learned and what your strengths are. If there is a sector or a job you’re going for, then read over some different job descriptions and highlight how you can do what they want. This is your chance to hook their interest. The best place for this is in your personal statement at the top of your CV. Even if your experience isn’t in the field you want, your strengths and skills can absolutely make you a contender!
What to take away
Keeping an updated CV saved and available is always going to work in your favour. You don’t want to run into a situation where you need it, have no time to update it from three years ago, and miss an opportunity. Keeping in mind the above steps will help you harness your spring motivation and make the best CV you can. Good luck!
Author: Kimberly Norris