When was the last time you updated your CV? Whether you’re looking for a new opportunity or have been in your job role a while, it’s good practice to keep your CV updated regularly.
While you don’t need to update your CV every month, you should get into the habit of updating it at least once a year. When you review your CV regularly, it gives you the opportunity to showcase your new skills and recent achievements as well as remove any outdated information.
In this article, we give you some tips and tricks on how to wow hiring managers and the reasons why it’s so important to update your CV.
Tips for updating your CV
You have limited space to wow a hiring manager, so you need to ensure that your CV engages them from the moment they look at that first page. From updating your resume summary through to updating your employment history, below are our top ten tips for updating your CV.
Update your resume objective and summary
Your resume summary gives hiring managers the opportunity to understand where you fit in with the job description. You should make sure that this is updated to reflect your current skills and qualities. If you haven’t updated your CV in some time, make sure you spend the time thinking about what skills you have learnt and any experiences you’ve gained.
A great way to make your resume summary stand out is by including some of your most recent, impressive achievements.
Your resume objective, on the other hand, describes your motivations for applying for this new job. As you move forward in your career, your career objective may not be relevant so you can leave this out and stick to a summary instead.
Typically, objectives should only be used on CVs where the applicant has little experience such as a graduate.
Research the company
Large companies that receive lots of applications for one job role will usually use an applicant tracking system to filter CVs for a set of keywords, experience, or education.
To ensure that you’ve updated your CV properly for the job postings, we advise doing some research to stand the best chance of making it through the ATS.
Research job descriptions for the role you’re applying for and pick out some of the keywords to add to your CV. By adding resume keywords you ensure that you have a higher chance of getting past the ATS and continuing the hiring process.
Update your contact information
It might sound simple, but you wouldn’t believe the number of job seekers that have outdated contact information on their CV. If you have recently moved house or changed your phone number, update this straight away so that you don’t forget when it comes to submitting a new job application.
You should also consider whether your email address is suitable for job applications. If you are using an email address that you created when you were 12 it may not be suitable for your job search so it could be worthwhile setting up a new one for your job hunting endeavours.
Adding your social media links such as your Twitter or Linkedin profile can also help to show recruiters that you’re a professional in your field. Read our blog on using LinkedIn.
When they browse your social media platforms they can gauge a better understanding of who you are and your suitability for the job role.
Replace passive voice with active voice
When you use the passive voice, it adds unnecessary words to your CV and can make it hard to read. When you use the active voice it can give your CV a cleaner look and make your relevant experience appear more dynamic.
Update your resume format
Your resume’s appearance doesn’t need to be a piece of art but the look of your CV does matter. Readability is an incredibly important factor on any CV – which means an easy-to-read font and font size as well as plenty of white space.
While basic templates can be useful, you want to ensure that you update them so that it doesn’t look like every other candidate.
Why it’s important to keep your CV updated
Most people only update their old resume when responding to a job ad, but leaving updates to the last minute may hinder your performance. When rushing to complete an application, it’s easy to leave out new information about your career, but by taking some time to update your resume regularly, you can benefit from:
- Ensuring your CV is ready and waiting for when a new or dream job opportunity arises.
- Identify gaps in your skills section that you may need to develop.
- Allows you to keep track of accomplishments in chronological order.
When to update your CV
There are a few reasons why you should consider giving your CV a refresh, including:
Updates to your job title
If you get a promotion at work that will add significant value to your CV, consider adding this as it could make you more desirable to a potential employer.
When information becomes out of date
If you’ve been in your current job for a while and haven’t updated your CV in a while, then your information is likely out of date.
Many career experts suggest regularly updating your CV to take out information such as:
- Out-of-date academic achievements
- Old positions – any more than three positions should be removed from your CV to give you extra space.
If you continue to get rejected by potential employers
If you have been seeking new employment but haven’t received any response or have been rejected by employers then you may need to update your resume. Updating your resume can be an easy way to ensure that you stand out from the crowd so consider these tips when updating it:
- The design: Ensure that the CV templates you choose to use are simple and easy to read. Use a standard font in one colour and use a different size for headers.
- The length: Your CV should only be around two pages long so ensure that you have all the relevant information in there and remove any work experience that won’t relate to the role you’re applying for. Make use of bullet points where appropriate and use action verbs to make them compelling to the hiring manager.
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