An up-to-date CV is not a nice-to-have; it’s essential. Even if you’re not planning on switching jobs anytime soon, updating your CV is an important exercise that will help you understand and highlight how you are performing in your current role by listing out your key accomplishments to date. Plus, it will help you think about what you need to do in the future to take your career to the next level. Here, Savoir Flair taps Jamie Penn, a seasoned New York-based recruiting professional who has spent her career hiring talent and growing companies that include Coach, Michael Kors, and, most recently, Flywheel Sports for her top ten tips on building a killer CV.
Limit to one page.
“Recruiters are inundated with resumé after resumé and won’t have the time or the attention span to read about every moment of your career to date, so no matter how much you’ve achieved thus far it’s important to demonstrate the ability to succinctly quantify your accomplishments.”
Keep things in reverse chronological order.
“Most recent experience should always be listed first.”
Consistency is key.
“Attention to detail is crucial. This means consistent use of fonts and formats. Be sure to take the time to pick out a font that is easy to read, as well as consistently maintain the size of the font and number of line spaces throughout the document.”
Don’t forget to spell check.
“This doesn’t just mean running a Microsoft Word spell check. After you have scanned your CV slowly and deliberately, don’t hesitate to ask a friend you trust to serve as a second eye and proofread your CV before sending it out into the world.”
Make sure all content is relevant to the job you are applying for.
“It’s not enough to have one generic CV. For example, if you’re looking for a job in communications but are open to roles in either social media or editorial, those CVs should highlight different experience and skill sets that tease out the elements that make you most qualified for each job.”
Highlight any exciting experiences, projects, skills, and interests.
“Not only will this set you apart, but it’s also a great way to connect with the interviewer.”
Include all relevant contact information.
“This means you should list both your phone number and your e-mail address.”
Keep it easy to read.
“Realistically, recruiters look through hundreds of CVs a day and spend about five to ten seconds glancing at each one. The initial glance is what makes or breaks your chances of moving forward, so don’t waste time trying to impress us with fancy words. Always think: Clear and to the point.”
Always PDF the document.
“Don’t risk the document arriving to the recruiter oddly formatted. Another helpful hint? Always save the PDF as your name, so whoever is looking for your file is able to access it easily.”
Include links where relevant.
“If your blog or social-media handle send the right message, they can be a good way to let the recruiter get a feeling for who you are in your digital life.”