If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to go for a promotion, get a new job or completely change career, it all starts with one document – your CV
Are you happy in your work?
There’s nothing quite like the month of January to make you start reassessing where you are in life and where you’d like to be. If one change you’d like to make this year is to find a new job, the first thing to do is update your CV (curriculum vitae). But before you groan in despair at the thought of this task, there is help available.
Ariana Dunne, CEO of mindstream.ie says that one of the most common requests she gets from people is for help updating their CV and LinkedIn profiles.
With that in mind, she has collated some top tips to help you build a CV that will help you land the job you’ve always wanted:
1. Update it regularly
Putting a recurring reminder in your calendar to update your CV every three months will ensure you have the most up-to-date information in it. That great deal you just made, the intern you trained, or the highly praised project you just completed can all be added to your current role, replacing more menial descriptions of your day-to-day tasks.
2. Use a professional CV building site
If you are concerned about the layout and design of your CV, using websites such as resume.io or myperfectcv.co.uk can help. They have a wide range of templates to choose from that suit all job types. Alternatively, you can hire a career coach who will not only help you whip your CV into shape but also help you prep for any upcoming interviews you may get as a result.
3. Keep it short
Most hiring managers skim-read CVs so listing out your key achievements early on, along with a summary of your experience to date will help your CV to get noticed. Research has shown that hiring managers tend to spend only 6 seconds per resume so don’t make it longer than two pages.
4. Adapt if for the role you want
Be prepared to amend your CV to fit in with the job descriptions of the various roles you are applying for. Search the job description for keywords that you can add to align your experience with what the hiring manager is looking for. Try to include only work experience, achievements, education and skills most relevant to the employer.
5. Use active language and don’t repeat yourself
If you held similar positions in two different companies, coming up with different descriptions of what you did on a daily basis to highlight a range of skills is recommended. Use power words such as “achieved,” “earned,” “completed” or “accomplished.”
6. Ensure you can stand over your CV
Every point that you include needs to be something you can elaborate on in an interview situation so make sure you know your CV inside out and that you can come up with examples when asked. Including numbers and metrics on your CV to qualify your work can be great talking points at interview stage.
7. Proofread, proofread, proofread
I can’t tell you how many CVs I have received which boast having “excellent attention to detail” in the summary, while the rest of the CV is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Spellcheck doesn’t pick up on everything so make sure you proofread several times, and get a friend to proofread for you in case there is anything you may have missed.
8. Add it to LinkedIn
Once you are happy with your CV, transfer the information to your LinkedIn profile. Grow your network on LinkedIn by adding people from your industry and from companies you are interested in working for in the future. Not only will this boost your network but your feed will also become populated with industry information ensuring you stay in the know on what is happening in your field of work. Stay engaged on LinkedIn and like, share and comment on posts you find interesting. Create insightful posts to share with your network that show you as an expert in your field. Finally, ensure your profile picture is professional and friendly.