Even though some jobseekers may see this as a waste of time, updating your CV is necessary if you want to get found for the right job. Having your CV ready at all times, allows you to respond quickly to unexpected job opportunities whenever and wherever they appear. It also encourages you to look at your career development as a whole, review your skills and decide what your next step is going to be.
Not updating your CV can leave you unprepared and at risk of not making a good impression on employers. To avoid this, learn how to revamp your CV the right way.
1. Update your current role
The first thing you can do is to improve your current role. If you are working or planning to leave work at some point, you need to gather the information you think is necessary and include it in there to show your contribution to the role. It helps to go back and think about what you have learnt from this experience. Ask yourself what difference you made, what was the result and why it matters. Refer to examples, and quantify your accomplishments to show future employers what you can do.
2. Go through your skills
As you progress in your job and career, you equip yourself with new experiences. If you use the opportunities presented to you effectively, the more skills you are going to add on your CV. If you want to improve your skills section, go back to those you already have on your CV and come up with more convincing and recent examples to support your skills. Also, it might be a good idea to include other types of professional skills on your CV. These could be technical skills, transferable skills, IT skills or any ability that can be related to the job.
3. Add your achievements
Most jobseekers forget an important detail when writing their CV, and this is listing their achievements. Adding achievements can help you stand out in the most unique and effective way. But what do we mean by achievements? Achievements can be anything from a reward or recognition you got from your boss, a small success at work through other settings. Accomplishments can be tied well with skills. Start by preparing a draft list of your proudest achievements and update it regularly.
4. Check CV design
Even if you don’t want to admit it, appearances do matter. Go through a general check for the design and make sure that it’s up to current standards. Does it look too old-fashioned or traditional? If yes, you can add some colours to it or make the necessary changes to modernise it. But first, make sure that you research the role and the company it offers the position. Matching it to the company culture and the nature of the job should be your first priority because it shows your suitability to the position. When applying for a creative position, you can experiment with unique designs like infographics or video.
5. Review your career objective
If you have a career objective on your CV, check whether this is still relevant or not. Career goals can change in a blink of an eye, and if you haven’t updated your CV in a long time, you might need to revise it. Some experts believe that this is not needed at all, but if you don’t have a career summary on your CV, it’s a good idea to use one. To write a career objective, make sure you know what you want and that you tailor it for each job.
6. Make it consistent
Don’t forget that the content is as important as the design. Before you send your CV out, check for any mistakes within the text that you may have missed and fix them. Try to make it consistent regarding the structure the fonts, and the headings you are using. For best results, take your CV and take a good look at it from a distance. Make sure there is enough white space on the paper and that you follow a logical order that allows the content to flow nicely.
7. Run a format-check
Are you using the correct CV format? Choosing the best format is all about determining your purpose. Ask yourself what you want to use the CV for. Are interested in a career change, trying to get your first job or hoping to get a promotion. When you make it clear to yourself about what is it that you are after, employers will be able to tell as well. This way you ensure that your professional needs are aligned.
8. Add more keywords
Chances are your CV needs more keywords, so that it can be made relevant to the job. To come up with some good ones, search for industry-related keywords and phrases within the job description. If you can’t find any, add some of your own. Put them into sections such as the career summary, work history, skills or achievements. Don’t flood it; just make sure there are enough to get your CV past the ATS.
9. Proofread again
It’s also highly possible that you have some serious grammar or spelling mistakes in there. Even though you think you are the kind of person who never makes mistakes, sometimes you need to double and triple-check to find any errors you've made. Paying attention to details shouldn’t be taken for granted and since we are all human we are bound to make mistakes. So be a professional and go through the text as many times as you have to. If you need help, you can go to a career adviser, ask your friends or have a CV writer to do it for you.
10. Update the education section
Most of the time, the education section is the shortest one on your CV, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are starting out and hoping to land your first job, you will need this to be as complete as possible. Complete any qualification or diploma you left unfinished, write down the dates you obtained it, your grades or any other course or module description that show you have studied your subject thoroughly. Adding your dissertation or thesis along with a brief explanation is a great idea as well.
11. Remove unnecessary information
As you move from job to job, the roles you held as a teenager or student have less and less value, especially when they are totally unrelated to the field you are interested today. As such, you can remove all of the stuff that have no real value to the job you are applying for. If you do this you can make space for the information employers need to see the most. Other elements in your personal information such as your age, nationality and home address aren’t important either.
12. Add volunteering and interests
If you have been a volunteer, don’t forget to mention this on your CV. Adding volunteering experience can make you a well-rounded person and employers want to hire people who take on the initiative and aren’t afraid to go the extra mile. Your hobbies and interests can go in there as well if you don’t have much experience in the field. These can give employers an insight into your personality, getting a sense of who you are.
13. Refresh your online profile
Who said you can only have one CV at a time? In the modern world we live in, it’s necessary to keep your online profiles up to date. So when you are updating your CV, make the same changes to your online profile or upload it to your blog or any career database. On LinkedIn, updating your profile is really easy and you can do it step-by-step. Change what you need in your profile summary revising your career goals, add qualifications or ask your friends to give you skills endorsements or recommendations.
Updating your CV can be an easy process as long as you know what you want to do with it. But, the best idea is to review your CV regularly – usually up to every 6 to 12 months, and stay up to date with current CV trends. This way, you don’t risk of forgetting any important information that needs to go in it.
Did you ever have to update your CV? How did you do it? Share your secrets with us in the comments section below…