Now's the time to get your CV into shape

6th Oct 2020
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Considering using this time to get your CV into shape and position yourself for future roles?

Read our senior training consultant Sarah Geraghty’s guide on how to do it right:

Plan: Treat this as a job in itself. Not an irritating task to be half addressed during a Netflix binge. Allocate time each day for research, preparation of your CV and for meeting people in your network. If you’re thinking of a career change, ask yourself if new qualifications are needed. What skills are required? What experience is needed? Do a skills’ audit of your current CV, identify the gaps and figure out how to best address them.

Tailor your CV: Some people think that once they have completed their CV, they can fire the same generic version out to 20 different companies. Wrong. You need to prove that you are crystal clear on what’s required for the role based on the job spec and any research you’ve done on the company. Tailoring your CV accordingly shows you’ve taken the time to adjust your experience and skillset to what the particular company needs.

Highlight your achievements: Don’t make your CV a dull list of tasks you’ve carried out day-to-day in previous roles. Focus on demonstrable successes you’ve had, achievements you’re proud of in the relevant areas. For example, ‘communications skills demonstrated in my ability to deliver excellent customer service in person and over the phone, resulting in consistently positive feedback.’

Use specific examples: When you’ve highlighted the essential skills in the job spec, create a file of stories or examples to prove you have them. If you’re claiming you’re an exceptional team player, for example, provide evidence of a time you performed particularly well working with four colleagues to deliver a project on time. Don’t talk in the abstract, employers need real-life examples.

Include experience that’s relevant: The part-time job you had aged 15 may not be relevant to the career you now have set your sights on. Do you need to say that you enjoy long walks on the beach? When you’re thinking about what information to include, ask yourself if it’s relevant and adds value to you as an applicant.

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