The start of a new year is an ideal time to review your CV, ensuring that it attracts recruiters’ attention, helping you progress in the hiring process.
Take your CV back to basics, streamlining your content and structure, focusing on the core skills and achievements that make you the perfect fit for your chosen industry.
Before applying in 2019, use these five steps to write a CV that impresses.
Assess what skills you gained in 2018
Review the skills you acquired from any work experience, qualifications undertaken, or even through hobbies or interests.
If you’re struggling to compile a list of skills gained, speak with colleagues or friends to gauge their insight. Alternatively, consider one to one’s or appraisals you’ve had at work, discussing with your line manager about the skills you have developed.
This is a great way of getting your manager’s honest opinion without revealing you’re looking for new roles. Add a core skills sector underneath your CV profile to emphasise these skills.
Remember what you accomplished
Take time to make note of any qualifications or courses you’ve completed, or any specific accomplishments within your working environment.
Write a list of these achievements, selecting those most related to the sector you’re pursing.
Add your achievements throughout your CV but making a focal point in your personal profile. Keeping these accomplishments to the top of your CV, engaging recruiters to read further.
Start again from scratch
If you’ve been using the same CV for years and just updating with each new role, it might be time to start from scratch.
Starting over will give you a fresh outlook, allowing you to evaluate which positions or qualifications are most relevant for the career you’re now pursuing.
The job market is constantly changing so your CV needs to adapt to market trends and reflect the skills sought-after in your chosen industry.
Research that industry and tailor your CV to align with the keywords or requirements you discover.
Create a winning structure
Structure is an area of CV writing that can easily be overlooked but is equally as important as the content.
Use a well-defined structure, including clear sections to break up the text, bold headers to highlight key skills and bullet points to facilitate ease of reading.
Avoid over complicating your CV with a busy design and simplify with a muted colour pallet, distinct font and by removing any imagery.
Make it simple for recruiters to pinpoint your suitability for roles without having to dig through reems of text.
Focus on achievements
Whilst it can be tempting to list all your duties within each of your positions, reflecting on the value you added to each company is essential to enticing recruiters’ attention.
Focus on your core accomplishments, providing examples and introducing relevant facts and figures to back up your claims.
Consider achievements not only in employment but education or even as part of your hobbies and interests if they’re pertinent to the sector you’re apply to.
About the Author
Andrew Fennell is a former recruiter and founder of StandOut CV, a leading advice centre for CV writing and job search. Andrew contributes careers advice to a number of sites including The Guardian, Business Insider and CV Library.