Top CV tips

Anne Murray
in Careers guidance

It's easy to put off writing your CV but the reality is if you always keep it up to date you can avoid any last minute panics.

To help keep the odds in your favour, here are a few ways you could refresh your CV right now:

Freshen up your format
Did you know: 50% of recruiters suggest that a logical order for presentation is the most important thing they consider when reviewing CV’s. And contrary to popular belief, there’s no one-size-fits all formula. Formatting is KING. Prioritise what you include. A general rule is to start with the points you most want recruiters/employers to see. Lead with your recent employment history, or even a relevant key skills section.

Use the job description
In reality, refreshing your CV should never be a one-time thing.
To maximise your chances, every document you send over should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. And, as time-consuming as it may seem, it only takes a few tweaks to make a real difference. It’s just about utilising the job advert.
Almost without fail, a recruiter has provided you with all the attributes you need to sell yourself to the role. By adding a few of these to your skills section, or quantifying them in your personal statement, you’ll be able to make yourself come across as the perfect fit for any position.
So tailor your CV to every role. Every time.

Trim the fat
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: you do not need to include absolutely everything you’ve ever done in order to impress.
Your CV should be a powerful sales pitch, which provides an employer with all the right information they need to invite you to an interview to learn more.
If you have an extensive employment history, only include career highlights/achievements.
Ideally, your CV should be no more than three pages. If you need more space, add links to online portfolios or blogs where they can learn more.

Start from scratch
If all else fails, start again. Avoid re-reading your old CV before you start. And don’t be afraid to try a few different versions to find one you’re truly comfortable with. It might take some time to get it right, but it really will be worth it in the long run. It is also a worthwhile exercise to remind yourself of previous career highlights and successes – all of which can be used to support your interview prep.
And remember: Always thoroughly proof-read your CV or ask someone to do it for you before sending it to either an agency or a potential employer.

Author: Anne Murray

Recruiter and top manager, Anne is also the owner of the best stocked bar this side of Vegas. Loves her budgies and venturing out in her camper van.

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