We are fast approaching the New Year, so if you’re currently looking for work, this is a good time to spruce up your CV.
I would suggest that you do this with your hard copy document (i.e. Word document), as once you have this sorted, it is easier to transfer information to online profiles etc. Also, even if you mainly use online profiles to apply for jobs, it is always nice having a good looking CV to print up or email when necessary.
It might not be the most exciting thing to do at this time of year, but come January, when it is looking all sparkly and new, it might just entice some of those companies you’ve been interested in!
Below are some points to consider:
When did you last read your CV from start to finish? I am sure many of you have done the usual tweaking for different job roles, but does it still make sense and is it relevant?
My suggestions would be to:
- Re-write your profile and make it clear what you are looking for
- Look at your work history and take out jobs or padding that are no longer needed
- Update interests with things you currently do
- Make sure your reference details are still right and are the right references for the jobs you are currently going for
It is really important that your CV is not only right for the jobs you are going for, but also reflects who you are. If you are going for creative and digital jobs, it is a lot easier to show your individual flair. However, even if your CV has to be more structured than others, there are still things you can do to make it stand out. (Before you start changing any of these things, make sure you have saved a copy of this first. Seems simple, but we have all deleted something by accident at some point and haven’t been able to retrieve it back and it is really annoying!)
- Fonts: Muck around with some new fonts and see what takes your fancy. You want to be taken seriously and for the text to be easily readable (so no Wingdings and Comic Sans) but it can still be something that is nicer that Arial and Times New Roman.
- Sizing/Spacing: Once you have the font down, how about changing some of the spacing of the sections and making those headings stand out a bit more: It is unbelievable how a bit of white space and re-structure can make your CV look so much better.
- Colour/Images: So your CV is already starting to look great, but why not add a touch of colour or individual presence? Now this needs to be subtle, so we’re talking underlining or headings in a certain colour or possibly a border or motif somewhere. Think about the overall look when you add motifs and borders, it won’t work for all CVs, so have a play around and see what you think.
Last and most importantly…
Seems so obvious, yet bad spelling and grammar could have already lost you at least one job by now. On a writing course, I found out how to change the spelling and grammar settings on Word, which I found quite useful.
Go to Review > Right click on Spelling & Grammar >Click on “Customise Quick Access Toolbar > Proofing > Then click on Settings in “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word” to choose what items you personally want checked in your document.
Asides from what your computer can offer you, you should always re-check the document after stepping away for a bit. It is easy to miss mistakes when you have been staring at something for ages, but if you come back after doing something else, you will re-read it with fresh eyes. It is also worth getting someone else to read it – not just for spelling and grammar, but to give you overall feedback on the wording and context.
So there you have it, a few bits and pieces that could really change your CV from a good CV to an excellent CV. So happy editing and have a great week.
Written by Nicola Smith