Alright, it’s time to talk change. I know. Shudder. We all hate change, especially when it comes to documents that sum up our lives (am I the only one who starts to wonder about my life decisions when working on a CV?) Here’s the thing: Yes, you probably spent hours and days crafting the perfect post-graduate CV with the help of career services and countless friends (who probably weren’t all that qualified in the first place, if we’re being honest), but it’s time to let it go.
Ask yourself...How long ago was the last time you rewrote your CV? Have you just been cutting and adding here and there every time you apply for a new job?
If your first answer is anything over five years followed by a guilty “yes,” then it’s time for a CV overhaul. Don’t worry. We’re going to make this as quick and painless as possible, but it’s still going to take time and effort on your part for desired results. (Unless you want to check out bayt.com/en/careerservices for a professional CV.)
Time to Trim
With 5+ years of work experience, it’s time to trim the weight on your CV that could be serving more as a distraction than a complement. The work experience that you racked up during your college years is probably taking up valuable real estate on your CV that could be used to list more accomplishments from your most relevant and recent jobs. In addition, part-time work (unless it’s an important stepping stone to the position you're applying for) and unrelated work should generally be left off your CV.
Remember, even when applying for mid-career positions, which usually accommodate CVs that are longer than one page, your CV must still be relevant and direct to the point.
Accomplishments over Skills
At this point, your CV should have more accomplishments and less lists of skills. With this much work experience, you should be able to prove your skills with achievements and quantify these achievements whenever possible. The accomplishments should also reflect a progression to demonstrate you took on more responsibilities and achieved more. You can still have a list of skills in your CV to make sure it passes automatic application tracking systems, but make sure that your job details list accomplishments so the employers can have a good idea of what you’ve actually done-- not just a lot of buzz words with no evidence. This applies to listing responsibilities as well. Listing some of your responsibilities is okay, but an employer is going to be more impressed with howyou met these responsibilities, what targets did you achieve, and what growth did you contribute to
Education or Work?
Here is where you can have some discretion in the format of your CV. Right after graduation and for a few years after, your education is your main selling point. Once you’re mid-career, however, you can choose to move your education experience after your work experience. If your work experience is going to be what snags you that job and you’re worried about the employer getting stuck at your education, go ahead and switch it!
Maybe there are some personal details that you got away with as a fresher. But now as you’re moving up the career ladder, it’s time to polish everything. Make sure that your email is clear and professional. It’s best to just have your name and a relevant number or an underscore if your name is taken for an email address. Second, have a professional-looking CV photo! The photo should be a simple headshot smiling or straight-face with a plain background and wearing professional clothing. You want to give a neutral, professional first impression. Selfies are best left for Facebook!
With a little bit of polishing and perspective change, taking your CV to the next level can be easy. Just make sure your CV is focused, accomplishment-oriented, and polished and let your experience do the talking.
By Cassidy Lyon
This article originally appeared in Bayt.com. This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.
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