Whether you’re looking to start a new job in the new year or not, it is always a good idea to keep your CV up to date. Here’s how to revise your CV in five easy steps – but be sure to read up about the five CV red flags to avoid before putting these into action!
Build a Relevant CV
A relevant CV is one that is relevant to the industry you are employed in – or the industry you wish to be employed in. While all CVs should be professional, consider including small elements that only your future employers will appreciate. If, for example, you’re applying for a graphic designer position, use professional fonts instead of the regular ones. Also, remember to check your spelling and grammar regularly! If you’re applying for a job abroad, check which version of the English language they use, and write accordingly – for example, they might use American English instead of South African English.
Consider adding project testimonials to your CV. These are not quotes from previous employers or colleagues, but rather successful projects and undertakings that you were involved in. Include links to any websites or blogs that you contributed to or that show your hard work in action, and don’t forget to include any contact people as references. Remember that developing your CV is a chance to put on display your best qualities and achievements, but some of these might be in conflict with what your future employer stands for. Do your research before deciding exactly which of your achievements make it onto the pages of your CV.
Keep your Cover Letter
A CV without an accompanying cover letter is like trying to sell a car by advertising it as simply a car. Your cover letter is your chance to get across, in your own words, what you are all about. While we recommend using correct language, punctuation and grammar – use your cover letter to describe what you stand for, your work ethics, where you believe your strengths and weaknesses lie, and what you can add in terms of value to your future place of employment.
Get a Fresh Look
Give your CV a makeover! While much of the content will remain the same, consider changing your fonts, layout, colour scheme and headings. Again, this will depend greatly on your own personality and the industry you are looking to be employed in. Keep in mind that less is more, so simple layouts are more effective than complex ones. Limit your fonts used to two, and if you’re looking to add in an element of colour, limit yourself to two or three.
Update Your Resume Sections
When revising your CV, think about everything you’ve done since you last edited it. Consider adding any tasks you may have recently been assigned at work, any diplomas or certificates you may have obtained – even if they were online courses, or any community outreach initiatives you may have taken part in. If you’re still unsure about what should make it onto your CV, contact us for advice on building a CV that will really stand out in the crowd!