Updating your CV when on furlough
Sunday 24th May 2020
Chris Pennington (Client Services Director at Your CV Consultant)
If you're one of the millions of people in the UK still on furlough, it would be wise to use this time to update your CV so you are ready to take advantage of work opportunities that may arise. Below we have put together a few simple pointers on how to plan the writing of your CV so it stands up to recruitment scrutiny!
A personal profile is a good place to start as it's a very effective introduction to your experience and skill set, helping the reader to see at a glance what you can bring to their business and where your strengths are from the onset. However, if it's not relevant to the job application you are sending it for, you may be wasting valuable space on your CV and the reader might not get past this initial section before moving onto another applicant. Therefore keep it relevant to the application.
This section is also a good place to set out your career aspirations. This can be a central thread that runs throughout the CV, but in your profile you can state what you are looking for and what you can bring to a future employer. Aspirations will also change over time and depending on each application it's a good idea to work out what you want from the position before even sending a CV
This needs to be listed in reverse chronological order, with your employer, job title and the dates you started and finished. Then underneath each position bullet point your responsibilities and achievements, giving statistics to back up points if possible.
If you don't have much employment experience, you can also include voluntary experience. The key with both is to demonstrate you transferable skills, so even if the position seems irrelevant to your application, the skills you have gained should not be.
A good CV will generally have a section that will focus on your key skills. Look to your recent career or academic history and the skills you have gained, then write this section to focus specifically on the application in hand. For example, if you are looking to apply for a customer facing position, highlight your skill set that demonstrates your customer service skills and how you have shown these in your employment or academic experience. An employer can then see at a glance how you will fit within their business and what you can bring to it.
Getting Bored Near The End...
If you read a lot of CV's you will notice a common trend. Many people will focus on a position adding content and depth for a job they liked or did recently. Then sometimes each employment role that follows can deteriorate in style, effort and content. It is very important to write in the same style for each position and add quality content with equal vigor.
Try not to get bored near the end and start to streamline experience just to finish the CV off a bit quicker. By all means target information on less recent roles, but only if this adds to the CV and is done for positive reasons. Some CV's can even look like older copies mixed with newer ones which have had sections copied and pasted. This will show lack of effort and result in a negative impact. It really is worth the effort keeping the quality the same throughout. Take a break if you feel you need one then go back to the CV with a fresh eye!
All of the above might sound like common sense, but each of these areas needs to be in your mind as you plan, design and write your new CV. If you do this then your CV will stand out, helping you rather than other applicants progress to that all important interview and position!