10 Things You Can Do TODAY To Improve Your Current CV
If you're stone-broke, or a DIYer that likes to give everything a crack, then make time to spend 30 minutes on implementing these quick CV improvements.
We have made posts about this in the past. There are countless fantastic font choices out there, but almost none of them are suitable for your CV! For starters, if you send your CV as a Word doc to anyone, they MUST have the same font loaded on their computer or your CV will open and show a bunch of unformatted gobbly-gook. Second, decorative and creative fonts are not suitable for the body text of your CV. Keep the font size between 8-10 (sometimes you can get away with 7.5pt depending on the font). No employer wants to read through 17 pages of font size 14 in Comic Sans! Some Creative Fix approved fonts (generic ones that everyone should have even if they're rocking a vintage version of MS Word) include Calibri, Arial, Baskerville, Century Gothic, Cambria, Corbel, and Garamond.
Speaking of pages... At the risk of sounding like a broken record, keep your CV to 2-3 pages! Remember employers and recruiters only skim over your CV for about 8-10 seconds on the first handling, so you better make sure they can find out what they need to know in that brief first encounter. They certainly don't want to be digging through 6+ pages before they ascertain that you actually have the skills for the role.
GET CLEAR ABOUT YOUR ACTUAL SKILLS
Does your CV mention the cringe-worthy old lines: 'Excellent attention to detail', 'team player/works well in a team', or even worse, mentions unmeasurable traits such as honesty, loyalty, or passion? Crikey! It's time to leave these snafus back in 1982 where they belong. Ask yourself what your real strengths are. What have you been commended for at work? Have you been awarded for anything? How do your workmates describe you? What professional skills have you mastered? Maybe your attention to detail is terrible, but you have great success when tasked with establishing organisation-wide goals and targets. Maybe you're great at supporting and encouraging others and can back these statements up because you have been selected as a mentor for junior staff in your workplace.
REMOVE PRIVATE INFO
Your CV is a professional document detailing your work and skills. No matter what is going on in your personal life, your CV is not the place to discuss personal or family illness or issues. You don't need to try and explain away gaps in your CV; these can be covered in an interview if/when the question comes up. A simple 'I took time off to care for an ill family member' will suffice as an answer too. It is not appropriate to go into great detail during a job interview. (An employer shouldn't be probing around for personal information either!)
REMOVE RANDOM PERSONAL INFO
There should be no mention of random personal information such as the status of your health or relationship. This means you don't need to list things such as: 'Non-smoker', 'Excellent health', or 'Married with three children'. You also don't need to mention the status of your driver's license unless it relates directly to the role - i.e. When driving a vehicle is part of the job.
Read through your CV and triple-check that all your content is updated. This means checking your contact details, ensuring that all past jobs and dates are no longer referred to in the present tense, and updating your CV with your most recent job/s.
Add two or three achievements to at least the last two jobs you have listed on your CV. These need to be credible, evidence-based statements, (preferably things you attained that were considered above and beyond your job description) and not wishy-washy things about 'getting more experience in XYZ area'.
Don't be afraid of using a splash of colour in your CV. (Keyword there being 'splash') If your current CV is entirely black and white, maybe consider changing the section headings or your name to another colour to add some visual interest. (If your CV is currently made up of more colours than Joseph's technicolour dream coat, and you don't work in the arts, maybe we need to chat).
Where this bizarre CV section came from, we will never know. Let's blame The US of A until otherwise informed. We're guessing your objective is to get a job, right? CVs are rather self-explanatory like that. You 100% do not need to write about your next career move or personal career goals and ambitions in your CV. Doing so implies that you are more focused on what YOU will get from them, rather than what you are offering THEM. Capisce? (Ka-peesh?) Leave it out!
SLANG, COLLOQUIALISMS, AND JARGON
Remove informal language and conjunctions like 'don't', and 'they're' etc.. these words need to be written in full. Again, a CV is a professional document, so should not contain colloquialisms such as 'The Hutt' (Lower Hutt) etc.. The other thing to be careful of (we are looking at you IT and government people) is using abbreviations and jargon-y acronyms that anyone who isn't in the know in your industry doesn't understand. Think about your audience and add context for acronyms where necessary.
So there you have it, folks! Ten things you can do right now to improve your chances of securing a job interview. If you've read through this list and yawned, or you just can't be... bothered... Then get in touch with us for a free quote so we can tell you how much it will cost for us to do it.