5 Quick and Easy Fixes for Your CV
When you’ve been sending your CV around for a while, it can be hard to see what needs changing. But it’s your key selling point to potential employers, your first point of contact, so it’s vital to have it in top shape. Where do you start? We’ve got five quick tips to help refresh it.
1) Change Up the Template
Stick with what’s relevant, and cut down the stuff you don’t need
Sometimes your template can look a bit old-fashioned. Maybe it uses too much white space, dodgy bullet points, or you’ve just edited it enough times that it’s lost its lustre a bit. Find a new format for a fresh coat of paint- aim for minimalism and readability.
2) Cut down your work history
That Summer job you had at the cafe gets less and less relevant as time goes on, as does your bronze DoE, your compulsory week volunteering at the dog shelter, and that time you almost went on a litter pick. These things make sense to include on your first CV, because you don’t have a lot of relevant experience and need to throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks, but as you advance through your career, it’s time to cut them down. Go with the last three roles you had.
Two sides of A4 sounds easy, until you get down to it. Be ruthless!
3) Focus on Stuff you’ve Achieved- and Why it’s Relevant.
Instead of focusing on job titles and the minutiae of what you did in that role, focus on interesting, unexpected things you did- things that might spark conversation at your interview. Did you increase traffic to your company’s website? If so, by how much? Did your team ship a product successfully? Keep it simple, and keep it specific.
4) Cut, Edit, Refine
Unless you’ve got a genuinely storied career full of incredible achievements, (and we do mean storied and incredible) your CV should never be longer than two sides of A4. Therefore, be harsh, cut things down to as slim as you can, and lose the superfluous details. Nearly every piece of writing can be improved by cutting its content in half, and your CV is no exception.
Check, double check, and then check once more for good measure
Your keen eye for detail, your perfectionist attitude and your commitment to getting the job done are all pretty heavily undermined by the presence of typos. This will be mentioned by everyone you ask about it, but check your CV for typos. Get a critical friend to check it, and then another, or if you don’t have friends who are good at editing, consider paying someone.
Selling yourself is a hard prospect for a lot of people, it can be weird to talk about yourself, and then even harder to get what you’ve written into a manageable format. Take it slow, and get ruthless. Your CV is like your passport into the world of work. Take it seriously, and you’ll see more results.