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Posted on 09 May 2024

Refreshing Your CV: A Guide to Getting Noticed

If you've been in the same job for a long time, the thought of updating your CV and diving back into the job market can seem daunting. Whether you're looking to advance in your current field or pivot to a new industry, your CV needs to reflect not just years of experience but also relevance and adaptability to today's job market. Here’s how to dust off and spruce up that CV to ensure you stand out.

Start with a Clear Structure

Your CV must be easy to read and logically organized. Stick to a professional font like Arial or Calibri, and keep the size between 10-12 points. A clean, straightforward format will help potential employers find the information they need quickly. Typically, a CV should include:

  • Personal details: Name, phone number, email, and LinkedIn profile.

  • Professional summary: A brief section summarizing your experience, skills, and what you are looking for.

  • Work experience: Listed in reverse chronological order.

  • Education: Relevant qualifications and training.

  • Skills: Both hard and soft skills pertinent to the role you are applying for.

  • Additional sections: Such as publications, awards, or volunteer work, if applicable.

Update Your Professional Summary

The professional summary at the top of your CV should be a powerful snapshot of your career and ambitions. Update this section to reflect your current professional identity, not just your past roles. Highlight key achievements and skills, and articulate clearly what you are looking for next. This part of your CV is your elevator pitch and should catch the eye of recruiters and HR.

Emphasise Recent Achievements

If you've been in the same role for many years, it's crucial to focus on your recent achievements. Highlight how you’ve grown in the role and any new responsibilities you’ve taken on. Quantify achievements with specific metrics where possible, such as sales growth percentages, projects led, or efficiency improvements. This shows that you've not just been present at a job but have actively contributed and evolved.

Refresh Your Skills Section

The skills you listed on your CV a decade ago might not be the ones that will get you noticed today. Add any new skills you’ve acquired, especially those that are highly sought after in your industry. Also, include any recent training courses or certifications, particularly those involving technology or methodologies that are current in your field. This will demonstrate that you are committed to continuing professional development.

Highlight Adaptability

Employers value candidates who are adaptable and can manage change effectively. Use your CV to highlight examples of how you've adapted to new challenges, equipment, or business direction. This is particularly important if you’ve been with one company for a long time as it shows that your skills are transferable and that you’re able to thrive in different environments.

Tailor Your CV for Each Application

One size does not fit all when it comes to CVs. Tailor your CV for each job application, emphasising the experience and skills that are most relevant to the position. Read job descriptions carefully and match your CV accordingly to address the specific requirements and responsibilities of the job. This targeted approach shows that you’ve put thought into your application and understand what the role entails.

Proofread and Get Feedback

After updating your CV, thoroughly proofread it to ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors. It can also be helpful to get feedback from trusted colleagues or mentors in your network. They can provide insights on how your CV might be perceived and suggest any additional tweaks.

Updating your CV after a long stint in the same job is a great opportunity to reflect on your professional journey and prepare for your next career step. By structuring your CV effectively, highlighting recent achievements, updating your skills, and tailoring your applications, you can make a compelling case to potential employers. A well-prepared CV is your ticket to exciting new job opportunities.

For more help and advice around your job search, get in touch with us at Bright Leaf today.

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