Updating your CV for 2015
The New Year has been ushered in and you've finally recovered from the drunken stupor you put yourself in. Whilst you prepare your latest Tweet or Facebook Status which starts with "New Year, new me" you should probably be thinking New Year, new CV. Chances are you've not actually changed your CV since it landed you your current job, and whilst you may not be an active candidate, it never hurts to be prepared.
You never know when Mr Ed Hunter will ring up one day and offer you the dream job and missing out on such an opportunity due to an archaic CV would be an absolute nightmare. It's easy to forget those awe-inspiring things you've done if you don't update your CV for years and years. So whilst you prepare to return to work, show your CV some love by spending an hour reconstructing the often neglected document, who knows maybe you could fit in some time for your LinkedIn too.
Your Summary is a short paragraph about you, but not the you who likes to enjoy a few drinks on the weekend - business you. Much like New Years Resolutions, you've changed throughout the past year and your current summary no longer portrays who you are.
This section of the CV is an easy way to sell yourself to recruiters, so by constantly updating it you can make sure that it fully represents who you are and what you've been doing over the past year.
Alongside up-to-date information, you want your summary to look professional (so no Comic Sans) but more importantly, it needs to read professionally. Long gone are the days where a CV read like it was written by a robot designed to include as many buzzwords as humanly possible. Now it's time for a summary that flows naturally, now it's time for a summary that reads like it was written by a person, a person well suited for the vacancy.
Chances are, since you started employment you haven't actually put your current job on the top of your employment history section. However if you're one of the few organised resume writers out there then congratulations, but there is still work for you to do. It's nearly impossible that in the past year your job description has remained the same, you've likely taken on a few more responsibilities that your CV doesn't know about.
Not only do changes need to be made to the job description, you probably achieved a fair few things last year and your CV is the best place to boast about it. Perhaps you helped secure a tough client? Figured out a way to make a long process shorter? Or maybe you attracted traffic to a website with an article about updating your CV? You should carry over your achievements from 2014 to your new and improved 2015 resume.
Recruiters, HR departments and potential employers love a CV that is laid out neatly and follows an intelligent structure. If yours is reminiscent of a Picasso painting, then you shouldn't be surprised to learn that it may end up in a bin, not an art gallery. You may want your CV to stand out with a flowery border, some tactfully placed Wordart and copious amounts of Clip-Art to show how fun you can be - please don't.
Your resume is a professional reflection of yourself and an employer will base their first impression of you on it. A good CV is never more than 2 pages long and tends to follow a similar format to the example below:
Contact Information - Name, Phone Number, Email Address.
Summary - The short paragraph which will sell you to recruiters.
Education - Your qualifications, why you're qualified for the job.
Work Experience - A reverse-chronological list of previous employers complete with time spent there and what you achieved.
Skills & Achievements - A short section on the skills you can bring to the workplace and the success you achieved previously in the relevant sector.
Hobbies & Interests - Any relevant interests that paint you in a positive light.
References - Usually just putting 'References available on request' will suffice if you need to save room, just make sure to have them prepared.