Is your CV stuck in a time warp?

By Denise Taylor

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Far too many people are using CVs that belong in a museum, they are using the same style from 20 years ago. As you build your career you can’t just add a new job to the top of the list and drop out the earlier jobs.

To bring your CV up to date you should

  1. Include a headline statement - your top strengths at the top of your CV either directly under your name or in a short opening statement. You don’t need to spell out the detail that will be included in the rest of your CV. If you are a digital marketing manager and SEO expert, start with that, don’t lose it in a long statement.
  2. Avoid an objective. The hiring manager doesn’t care what you want only if you are going to help him solve problems, make money, whatever is required in the job.
  3. Use some colour – either in a border or to pull out your name and headings, don’t overdo it.
  4. Use metrics and examples to back up what you say. You think you are a great team player, you must give evidence.
  5. Avoid long descriptive task around your duties you need to focus more on telling your career story.
  6. Start with what’s key – each bullet should start with what’s most important, and can also be highlighted in bold, just like a newspaper headline.
  7. Use key words related to your industry and the particular job you seek.
  8. Use a modern font and a clear layout. Times New Roman looks old fashioned, use a modern sans-serif font like Ariel, Calibri or Tahoma.  Don’t put narrow margins, you need to have some white space.
  9. Focus on the past 10-15 years and if you need to include details from your earlier career include in one earlier career section or use this information in a hybrid CV with details on the first page which presents examples against key headings.

Have I missed anything? What else needs to be done to bring a CV up to date?


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