If, like me, you’re currently enjoying the delights of job-hunting, fear not. Updating your CV can seem daunting, but here are a few small things I’ve found can make all the difference.
Have a great intro
You want to start your CV with a short, snappy personal statement. Try to avoid clichéd words like driven, creative, hard-working and reliable. Think of it as your ‘elevator pitch’ – a brief overview of what you do and more importantly what makes you good at it.
Make it easy on the eye
A couple of easy ways of doing this are to use a sans serif font, keep your paragraphs short and justify the text. This keeps lines nice and clean, and makes the whole thing quick and easy to read through. Use the same font throughout and be consistent with the size you use for headers and the main bodies of text.
Mix it up
Don’t be overly concerned with having your experience in chronological order. For example, I have a section at the top for relevant experience, followed by the rest of my employment history. You can include any unpaid work as well. If you have a blog, regardless of whether it makes money, include it. Blogging shows a great deal of creativity as it requires so many transferable skills: design, photography, social media management, and of course, writing!
Keep it concise
We all know the rule of keeping your CV down to two pages, but it can be hard to know what to cut down. This is just a guide, but here is what I cut out of mine:
- Hobbies and interests – there’s much argument over this, but I personally don’t like having mine on my CV
- Jobs from over five years ago, unless they’re relevant to the job I’m applying for, in which case they go in my relevant experience section
- I’m selective with my qualifications. I have both of my university qualifications, my A-Levels and then a summary of my GCSEs, rather than a list of all the subjects I took. I think at this point in my career no-one would really care, but of course if you’re applying for your first ever job it’s a different story. Keep extra courses you’ve taken limited to anything relevant or things like First Aid, which is always good to have
- Unnecessary details about each job I’ve done. I keep it to key responsibilities and notable projects
Don’t get too personal
Personal details wise I only ever include my name, address and contact details. You don’t need to include your date of birth or any other information. Depending on the job you’re applying for you may want to include links (for example, to your blog) and Twitter handles.
References available on request
I had this on my CV for years, but it’s not necessary. Scrap it. It’s a given that you’ll be able to provide references.