With the Covid-19 pandemic causing major employment disruption, now more than ever is the right time to work on that CV. Current financial instability may have directly affected your job or is prompting you to reconsider your career path. Going through the process of improving your curriculum vitae will ensure you are well-prepared for whatever is around the corner.
A curriculum vitae is an ever-evolving record of your working life. However, we often put off actually sitting down to give it an overhaul. Just dusting off the CV you used most recently and updating with your last job is not enough. Your CV will need to grow with you. It is one of your most effective means of catching the eye of a prospective employer and keeping them interested. It also helps you to focus on your personal development. Regularly working on your CV enables you to keep track of the direction your career path is taking, what skills and attributes you have already gained and which ones you still need to hone.
So how do you set about creating or rejuvenating your CV? Once you’ve allotted some time, take a look at your workspace. Is it tidy and clean, clear of distractions? Clear that desk, move the coffee cups, chuck away the rubbish, wipe it down. This will help. The old adage ‘tidy room, tidy mind’ really does hold some truth, especially in terms of motivation and focus.
Now you are ready to do your research. Browse the job ads, read up on potential employers. Get yourself clear on what skills, experience and attributes the role requires. Make a basic list of your own relevant and best skills, more specifically both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are specific practical abilities that you have learned to do, for example, carpentry, cookery, IT etc. Soft skills, also important, are quite different. These are attributes that either come naturally to you or you have developed through experience. Examples of these might be communication, listening, negotiation, problem-solving and so on. You could chat to your housemates, friends and family about where they see your strengths and also what to leave out.
Research done and your best, relevant skills identified, you can now start on the structure and format. Recruiters will be trawling through a lot of CV’s every day. Yours will need to stand out, but not in the way you think. Avoid garish fonts, colours and styles. Aim for a straightforward, easy-to-navigate structure with a professional-looking font. Resist the tempation to use cliche terms like ‘hardworking’ or ‘teamplayer.’
Generally your CV is structured as follows:
- Name and contact details at the top – your email address and phone number.
- Personal Statement – think of this as an opportunity to market yourself, Resist the temptation to embellish or mislead, but do take time to make it count.
- Bullet points listing skills – a way of showing potential employers what you could bring to their business.
- Work history – focus on the relevant, with the most recent first. Give a concise description of your role and the abilities it required.
- Education – most recent first, with important qualifications gained.
- Hobbies/Interests – if you feel they add value to a particular role, include them.
You’ve done the hard work, your CV is complete. The structure and format look great and you’ve included all the relevant information to show you are the person for the job. Checking it over is vital – spelling, grammar, layout. Twice. This cannot be emphasised more. You now have a great CV.
Your shiny new CV master copy can be adapted and tailored to whichever roles you apply for. For further help, if you are already one our tenants feel free to get in touch with us here at Ramsgate Rooms. We would be very happy to take a look at your CV and offer advice. There is also a multitude of CV guidance to get your teeth into on-line.