Tips To Help You Complete A Quick CV Refresh When You Only Have An Hour!
First things first; don't panic! They've asked to see your CV right NOW. Never fear, Creative Fix NZ is here! While we've been known to perform miracles, turning a CV around in an hour is probably a little out of the realm of possibility.
(While we do recommend always having your CV up-to-date for situations such as this, we understand that it's simply not always possible... coz, well... life... amirite?!)
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to rehash and revamp your current CV in a big hurry, the following tips should help you put something together that will improve your chances of impressing the HR team and/or hiring manager. Let's get started!
Open a fresh word document and hit 'Enter' many times to give yourself a three-page working area. Start from scratch, importing the relevant information you need from your old CV (a little at a time - let's say section by section) while being sure to 'paste without formatting' into the new document, so you can avoid all the weird formatting issues you might have in your old CV. (We're looking at you section breaks!)
CV LAYOUT TIPS
Consider using text boxes (without borders) in MS Word to set up your page in a way that makes the best use of all available white space. This method will help keep your CV to 2-3 pages. Text boxes are a fabulous way to keep your new CV looking crisp and sleek. Think of it as 'Kon Marie-ing' your document; everything has its own special place.
First-page must-haves include:
Your name and contact details
A brief intro to your skills and experience
A table to indicate the timeline summary of your work experience
The expanded details of your current position (To and from dates, the name of the company, and your position title, followed by a brief overview of your role purpose, your duties, and your achievements in the role to dates.
TEXT TIPS FOR CLEAN AND EASY TO READ CV CONTENT
Calibri Light (Size 9.5 for body text, 12 for headings)
Century Gothic (Size 8 for body text, 12 for headings)
Body text vertically spaced at 1.15pt
12-16pt space between headings and body text
20pt spaces between CV sections
Left-aligned (not justified)
Make your headings clear and easy to identify as the start of a new section
WHAT TO INCLUDE (+ WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE!)
You don't need to go into detail for roles older than 8-10 years (or those which are completely irrelevant to the role for which you're applying (unless you are very new to the workforce, and all you have to include is irrelevant roles)
If you're super short on time, maybe go into detail for your current position (with a role summary, duties, and achievements), but for subsequent roles, only include the role summary and any stellar achievements (leave the duty bullet points out).
Always include all tertiary education, but if you're short on time and have a LOT of subsequent training courses to add, include the more recent/relevant training courses as far back as five years.
Don't worry about getting your referee details in the CV; write 'Referee details will be provided upon request', as this will save you phoning around prompting past managers that they may be called to provide a reference.
Include current extracurricular activities that help support your application - i.e. If you are a member of a board, the captain of a sports team, or an active volunteer for a cause, this is helpful information to include as it helps to highlight strengths such as collaboration, training, and leadership.
CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!
Please remember to check your spelling and grammar
Check your details for accuracy (phone numbers, postal and email address details, + to-from dates for employment and training)
If you're feeling confident and wanting to inject a splash of colour and personality into your CV, that is great! Stick with simple, professional colour combinations such as charcoal and a shade of blue/green/orange. Charcoal and light grey are a suitable combo if you want to keep things mostly 'black and white'. (We suggest each CV comprises no more than 3 colours, with one of those colours being black/dark grey)
Non-black/grey colours are best used sparingly for things like section headings, your name, and other areas where you'd like to draw attention - for example, your achievements.
If you'd like to include a profile picture, ensure that you use a recent professional headshot that is high quality (not grainy, stretched, cropped or pixelated). It is great if you have one that matches your LinkedIn profile. Consistency is always appreciated!
We hope you will find these tips helpful! If you get stuck, we're sorry to say, but you might be on your own if you only have an hour! Sorry! Worst-case scenario if you can't get an extension to send your CV within a few days, do you very best and then come to us to with what you've created. We can help you get something polished and professional made for your next application so you will never have to face this stressful situation again!
Note: If you're not under any time pressure, but you like the idea of DIY-ing your CV, that's cool too! You're very welcome to get in touch with us via the 'contact us' form on this website.