Like thousands of people around the world you may be contemplating updating your CV whilst you enjoy a spot of R&R this Christmas but will you get it right?
Speak to three recruiters and you’ll get three opinions as to how to lay it out, what to include, etc. There is no correct answer as we all have our preferred style because we believe it works.
However, some things are fundamental and you should get them right so here is a short list of my do’s and don’ts:
1. Set out your roles in date order with the most recent first.
2. If you are not working at present and there is a long gap at the top then add something suitable.
3. Ensure that you change the tense of the older roles as you add a later one; i.e. change “I am” to “I was”, etc throughout so don’t forget to review the whole CV in this respect and not just the text you’re adding now.
4. Add more achievements than responsibilities! Omit all the boring traditional tasks that everyone in that role or at that level will do.
5. Learn to work MS Word more proficiently! It’s amazing how many people say they are expert and yet when I toggle the show/hide non-printing characters button (in the Paragraph button set) it shows they have character spaced to the middle and not centralised the text or have no idea how to set up tabs. Just some examples but you know what I mean.
6. Write “word, next word” and not “word ,next word”.
7. If you’re in England set the language to English (UK) and spell words like socialise correctly. Bill Gates has a lot to answer for in the UK!
8. Ensure that words like “from” and “manager” aren’t typed as “form” and “manger” as spellchecker won’t spot these errors.
9. Get “their”, “there” and “they’re”correct too.
I am sure that these are not all things to get right by any means and to a certain extent they’re just my pet hates. You may argue that it’s my role to ensure your grammar and punctuation is correct but it’s not. How can you produce reports, bids etc if you can’t spell? Very rarely do I see a CV without at least two typos so there’s a challenge to you. But please do update your CV as I’ll bet it needs it!