Haven’t updated your CV in a while and looking to do a professional polish? Applying for a job and a bit unsure of your CV’s appearance? Here are my top 10 CV tips.
1. Use a clear font.
No one wants to read anything, ever, in Comic Sans. You really shouldn’t use your fonts as a way to “stand out.” Use a simple, easy to read font like Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Times New Roman.
2. Keep your CV current.
Even if you’re not looking for work, you’ll want to ensure your CV is always up to date anyway. Even if you’re currently working, take a few minutes every 6 months or so to review your CV and update where necessary.
3. Use an active voice.
Have a strong, clear message and always ensure that the subject of the sentence (you) is doing the action.
4. Update your descriptions.
Like number 2, if you’re regularly reviewing your CV, you can update your descriptions regularly. Roles and responsibilities often change, and you take on new projects, sometimes they’re major and worth mentioning in your CV. To reflect on number 3, update your descriptions ensuring you’re using action words. Instead of writing something like, “performed general administrative functions,” write something like, “performed general administrative functions including implementing a structure and policy for internal processes that saved the company £10,000 annually.”
5. The format.
Much like fonts, I would recommend avoiding “fancy@ formatting and graphic elements on your CV unless you’re applying for creative roles. These elements are a distraction, generally, and are a nightmare for companies who use automated resume ingesting programmes. If you’re applying to jobs in foreign countries, check the standards there to ensure you’re meeting requirements.
6. Check your file type.
Always, always, always, send your CV as a PDF. Nothing is more frustrating than when you receive a CV and due to the format it was saved in, everything looks misaligned. Don’t scan a version of a printed copy and send that either. PDF your word document & save it with an appropriate file name.
7. Check your online postings.
Have you shared your CV on a website like Monster? Make sure you’re consistently updating your CV there (and on Linkedin) as you make amendments to your original paper copy.
8. Update your Email Address
Lots of us have specific email addresses for spam (i.e. things you sign up for to get promo codes, but don’t actually want 87 sales emails a week). Have a specific email address / account for applying for jobs. Your email address should only be your first and last name, or anything else that is professional-sounding. email@example.com isn’t going to work.
9. Update (or create) a website.
Have an online portfolio or online presence you want to share? It’s really easy to create a website that you can host your CV and / or portfolio on. T racking & analytics features will also allow you to see where your clicks are coming from.
Don’t include them on your CV, and definitely do not put “References Available Upon Request.” Many employers will ask for references, but typically only after you’ve been interviewed. Before you renew your job search, check back with your references to make sure they’ll still vouch for you. It’s always handy to be in regular communications with your references so you know you can rely on them when you need a quick reference check.
Still need more help? I’m here for you!