Spring has sprung and while you are sorting out your life don’t forget about your CV. In this article, I will show you 5 ways to “spring clean” your CV.
You’ve been accumulating a lot of skills and experience over the years, and this could result in a very bulky CV with a lot of repetition and redundant information. This spring we are going to help you unclutter your CV and be left with a clean, well-organised and impactful CV. Remember your CV is not meant to be a record of every course you did and every job you’ve held, it is a marketing document you send out to demonstrate your capability to fulfil a role you are applying for, so always keep it relevant to where you are in your career.
Tidying up your CV– and making it ready for new job applications should be a norm. Remember hiring managers are not looking for the most detailed CV, but they want to know how you will add value should the hire you. Be very mindful about what you include and be sure to only include information that will benefit your job application.
With that said, here are my top 5 tips to declutter your CV.
Cleanout irrelevant past roles
It is all good and well to want to show your career progression to demonstrate your steady growth. It is however a waste of space to detail past responsibilities that are not relevant to the role you are applying for. To summarise without losing the crux of your career journey you can keep the company, title and period of your oldest roles but leave out the roles and responsibilities.
Iron out your skills
Same as your career history, there really is no need to detail every single skill you’ve obtained throughout your career. Only list skills that are most relevant to the role you are applying for. Use this section as a tool for keyword matching to the role you are applying for (ATS) and as I always advise, keep it 100% honest.
Washout ambiguous language
There is nothing more frustrating than reading something and wondering what the intended meaning was. Your CV should not be a mystery, say what you mean and mean what you say. Be crystal clear because a slight misunderstanding could cause you an opportunity of a lifetime.
While on the subject of language, speak/write/type like a person and forget about using robotic terms just because you were told that is professional talk, it is not, it is just silly. Leave the bombastic words for Scrabble, it does not make you sound smarter.
Trim out unnecessary personal information
You have great health, congratulations I personally am very pleased for you, but please leave your health report out of your CV. Matter of fact, leave out all personal information that does not serve a purpose more especially, details that could cause the reader to be biased against. Unless you are applying for a job at a church your religious belief can also stay off your CV.
Your CV passes a lot of hands so for security reasons do not include your identity number on your CV. Once you make it to the interview stage your prospective employer will request this information and you can securely provide it directly to them.
Update your references
It is not necessary to have more than 3 references on your CV unless otherwise stated on the job ad. Make sure the references you have on your CV are recent, it is of no use to have your favourite manager from 10 years ago on your CV because one, he/she may no longer remember you or be able to give an accurate account of your performance, and two, your prospective employer will want to hear from someone who worked with you more recently. Before putting someone down as a reference, give them a call and ask them if they would be willing to take up the task.
Optimise your cover letter too
While you are in the spirit of spring cleaning your CV and removing all the unnecessary details. Do not leave out your cover letter. Remember it should be clear and concise and immediately highlight all your selling points. Maintain a professional tone and make sure that it is readable. Pay attention to the spelling and grammar. And show the hiring manager you’re perfect for the role.
Sell yourself a little bit more
Humility and modesty are honourable qualities but do not serve you well when it comes to your CV. On the other hand, neither does coming across as boastful and arrogant. There is a healthy balance between the two, don’t understate your abilities, selling yourself short defeats the purpose of a CV, remember the aim is to advertise yourself as a choice candidate.
Remember, getting a second set of eyes won’t hurt. Once you have removed all the redundant information, ask someone you trust to help you go through your CV. You know how in some cases certain people motivate you to spring clean your house? Have the same kind of perspective in relation to your CV as well. You are doing it for the hiring manager! Declutter your CV.
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