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Revamp Your CV – A Checklist

The reality is, many people have recently found themselves on the hunt for a new role. For this reason, having an updated CV is paramount. It will set you ahead of the game when you find your next exciting role.

Here, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you position yourself in the best light and stand out from the crowd. This general guide covers what to include, how to format and what to potentially avoid.

CHECKLIST – WHAT TO INCLUDE

  • Personal Details – your full name and contact details
  • Summary – keep this between 4-5 sentences. Include your main skills, background, industries/sectors you’ve worked in and what type of role you’re looking for, highlight the skills that you’re able to bring to a new employer.
  • Experience – order your work experience chronologically; starting with the most recent workplace. Include the name of each business, job title and dates of employment. Add a couple of sentences on your current employer to give a snapshot of who they are and what they do/ specialist areas. Include your main responsibilities and key achievements here.
  • Education/Training – add your university, college and/or school name and dates you attended. This is where you can also add any certifications and courses undertaken. It is not compulsory to add grades achieved.
  • Skills – e.g. skills in content management systems to account management and client retention.
  • Interests – Showcase your personality /characteristics within 2-3 sentences. If you have interesting hobbies or have spent any time upskilling, include it, but don’t overdo it.
  • References – Adding in your referee contact details is not essential, you can simply put ‘references are available upon request’ if you do not want your current employer to know that you’re seeking a new role.

CHECKLIST – FORMATTING

  • Is it concise? Make your points clear and no jargon or waffling.
  • Is it typo and error-free? Proofread your CV and get a second opinion to ensure it reads well with flow.
  • Is it personalised? You should have a generic CV but if there is a specific position you’re applying for, tailor it to that role, pull out relevant experience to match the job description.
  • Is it consistent in appearance? Make sure your font size, type, layout and formatting are all the same. For the font, use something clear like Calibri or Arial.
  • Is it honest? All of your information from grades, qualifications through to length at roles should be the truth, lying or fabricating the truth can get you into trouble and will eventually come out through references or another means.
  • Is it updated? Make sure that your most recent experience highlights your current responsibilities. Make sure your contact details are definitely correct, so people can find you if your background looks of interest.
  • Does it look good? If you wanted to go the extra mile, apps like Canva are great for adding a bit of sparkle to your CV but don’t go over the top, the content is what’s important. There’s access to a range of templates here that you can customise with colour choices etc.

CHECKLIST – WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Don’t include a headshot, it can take up valuable space and isn’t always necessary at CV reach-out stage.
  • There’s no need to include your marital status, date of birth or age – these things don’t affect your ability to do the job.
  • If your email address is something like [email protected], you might not be taken seriously, first impressions last. Set up a new account specifically for job searching if you need to.
  • Don’t include unneeded jargon – (inside terminology that people won’t understand.)
  • There’s no need to add all of your experience – keep things relevant and only include your last and most relevant 3-4 roles.
  • Don’t mention your reasons for leaving your current role, this can be discussed at interview stage.
  • Don’t add in your salary expectations, this again is something that you can discuss at interview or offer stage.
  • Finally, don’t only save one version. Save it as a word document for self-editing, as a PDF of the latest version, titled with your name, CV and the year/month it was updated so you have a record of the latest version.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

  • If applicable, add an engaging headline beneath your name at the top of your CV that will showcase your career experience, i.e. ‘Name – B2B Sales Professional’.
  • If you have room, mention any professional qualifications or LinkedIn groups/professional communities you may be a part of.

By following these tips you will increase your chances of standing out from the crowd and getting the interview requests that you want. If you need help or guidance with your next sales or business development roles, you can browse our jobs here or get in touch.

We hope you find it useful!