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Spring cleaning your CV

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 15 Mar 2021

Spring Clean Hero Image

Spring brings sunshine, blooming flowers, and it’s the beginning of longer days. For some people, the beginning of spring just changes something, it lightens their mood and motivates them to get things ready for the summer ahead. Most people think of freshening up their home and making a change, a good spring clean. Have you thought about giving your CV a good old clean? Whether you are currently looking for a new role or not, it’s always good to have an updated CV at the ready for when you might begin your new job venture. Why not make use of that spring motivation and take a look, after all, you’ll be saving your future self some work!

It might be too long

It’s common knowledge that employers don’t particularly enjoy reading CV’s that are too long. If you are writing one of your first CV’s, then make sure you are being concise with the language you are using. You want to use bullet points and split your CV into sections to help you create something formal but to the point. If you have too much information to share or you feel like your CV is a little impersonal, use a cover letter to include anything that doesn’t fit on your CV. Don’t just put anything on your CV either, make sure that what you are including is relevant to the roles you would like to apply for.

If you are someone with a lot of experience, your CV is going to be more than a single page. CV’s are going to grow with experience and that’s okay. The thing that causes employers to put down your CV, is having a large amount of unnecessary information on there. There may be jobs you have had in the past and skills you have learnt that just aren’t relevant to the roles you are looking for now. Try and be harsh with yourself and take out anything that doesn’t fit anymore. You don’t have to keep something on your CV, simply because you’ve done it.

Update your personal statement

You and your goals change. Your personal statement is often one of the first things an employer will read abut you, you want it to be updated and relevant to the jobs you are wanting now. This can often be overlooked because personal statements take a good amount of time to review and re-write. But taking another look ta it will work highly in your favour.

Also, try and make sure that your personal statement is interesting and tailored to the role you are applying for. This is usually something that you would tailor for each individual role as you are job seeking, but taking a look and making some amends now, will help you and hopefully save you time later. Try and put a bit of your personality into your personal statement, it gives the employer somewhat of an idea of how you may interact with the current team.

Review your skills section

No doubt you have learnt a lot of skills in your time working or throughout your education and where they are all important, are they going to be relevant to your career now? You might have skills that you may need to work on, things change over time and we might need to brush up on our knowledge to stay in the loop with how certain things work.

If you have things like licences and certificates of achievement included in your skills section, make sure they are in date. Some extra qualifications that you do can expire, so give this section a good clear out.

You might even think that now is the right time to learn some new skills and add to the list you already have. Have a think about what skills employers are listing on their job specs. There are plenty of online courses available that can improve understanding if you need a brush up, or just researching the specific topic and taking some time to read and learn can show the employer that you are really devoted to the job already.

Organisation is key!

The information on your CV should be concise and to the point! It’s not an essay, it’s a summary, so make sure that is shown throughout. It’s easy to get carried away when writing about something that interests you, so make sure once you have finished your CV, to go back and re-read what you have done. Make sure the language used throughout in consistent and professional.

Include everything that they ask for. This means, if they have asked for GCSE’s or O-level results, you include them. Although these aren’t relevant to a lot of jobseekers anymore, they might be to the employer so read their job description properly and do everything they ask as part of the application process. This includes sending them the document in the format they have asked for.

Your layout might be outdated as well. Have a look around at example CV’s and see what they look like now. There are loads of templates available online to help you if you’re clueless about this type of thing.

Another important thing to update is your contact details! You don’t want to be sending in job applications with a mobile number you no longer use attached to it. So, clean up this section and you should be good to go. Save your CV as something simple and professional. For example, ‘John Geller – CV 22/03/2021’ to ensure that if the employer can see your saved file name, it is simple and professional.

We all need a spring clean; it’s refreshing and can give us a sense of relief to relieve some negative emotions. Don’t miss the opportunity to give your CV a dusting. Even if you are not currently looking for a role, it can save you hours the next time you need a change.