It’s summer, and lots of us are taking a well-deserved break in the sun! While you’re sitting by the pool or enjoying spending time with your friends and family, you might find yourself thinking about what you want from your role when you return from leave. Perhaps your current position doesn’t offer you the right level of work-life balance, or you are looking to take that next step in your career with a more modern tech-stack, or management opportunities, or simply a new challenge! If you’re thinking of getting back into the jobs market, you need to know how to update your CV effectively.
Simple but powerful ways to refresh personal information on your CV
These easy steps will make writing or updating your CV a breeze:
- Remove any old roles
Start by reading your CV from the bottom up. Remove any entry-level or irrelevant roles. For example, if you’ve been working in software development for the last decade, you probably don’t need to include that retail job you had when you were at university!
- Close any gaps
If you have any interim positions that aren’t relevant to the role you’re applying for, any career breaks, sabbaticals, or a period when you weren’t working for any reason - don’t ignore it. A simple line of explanation will do.
- Switch in up-to-date tech
Working in tech you’ll know that innovation means the key technical skills employers are looking for can change quickly. Compare some current job descriptions with your CV and ensure that you are mentioning key phrases, platforms and technologies, and highlighting the right skills. If you're a Cloud Engineer, be specific in whether you are proficient in AWS, Azure or GCP, including any accreditations.
- Add your new skills
If it’s been a while since you updated your CV, chances are you’ve gained some new skills and experiences. Don’t forget to include soft skills such as negotiation, critical thinking, adaptability, and problem-solving or troubleshooting. You should also remove generalist phrases and skills that perhaps little dated - the ideal CV is just two pages in length, so you don't need to include 'word processing' or
- Choose the right hobbies and extra-curriculars
The advice on listing your hobbies and interests on your CV can be a little mixed. The key is relevancy - if it has a bearing on the role you are applying for, include it! Do you run a summer code camp for kids, participate in hackathons, act as an admin on Discord server for developers, or design games in your spare time? All these examples show that you are committed to developing your skills outside of work you're engaged in your tech community. That said, a little personality with your recreational activities shows you're a well-rounded person with plenty to offer.
- Are your details correct?
Switched phones or email addresses since you last applied for jobs? Make sure to check these little details to ensure employers can reach you otherwise you risk being passed over for a role. You probably don’t need to list your full postal address, but employers will be interested in your LinkedIn, XING, GitHub, Behance, etc. You might consider making a more formal email address just for job applications.
You don’t need to be overly creative with how your CV is presented, unless you are applying for a design-focused role, but good formatting is important as it helps with readability. The average employer spends less than 30 seconds on the initial scan of your CV, so your document formatting should make it easy for relevant information to stand out. Here are a few useful tips when it comes to CV writing:
- Style and fonts should be consistent
- Break up long paragraphs into concise bullet points
- Start with your most recent and relevant experience
- Switch written numbers into numerals
- Print your CV and check for readability and spacing
- Check the file name includes your full name
- Send over the file as a PDF to preserve formatting
- Lead with a snappy introduction summary
Make sure the top of your CV leads with a snappy summary or headline that ties together your breadth of experience and core skills in a few sentences. You want to be impactful, so include the most relevant key tech terms and personaility traits - and even what you're looking for from your next employer or position.
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