Hays UK blog


Easy CV refresh - now is the time

By Thea Watson, Marketing Director of Hays UK & I and UK Board member

2018 is well underway and it’s a perfect time to take that next step to landing that new job. The absolute first step is getting your CV up to scratch with a refresh – I promise it can be quick and easy and very worth the effort.

Here are some quick pointers and things to think about:

Know your audience

Your current CV was probably tailored to the last role you went for. Adding in the experience you’ve gained since then is a great place to start. As you gain experience and go for more senior roles the things that you’ll want to emphasis in your experience will change. As well as doing this for your most recent experience, scan back through your CV and make the tweaks in the way you’ve described your previous roles, so it’s is more in-line with what you’re looking for now.

Spot the opportunities to add in things that are listed in the job advert – this is the checklist the recruiter will be using to measure you against.

  • Personal statement

If your CV doesn’t have one – create one! Your personal statement should give your potential employer a snapshot of your career to date and where you want to go next. Even if your CV has a personal statement it can be well worth creating a new one with the role you’re after at the front of your mind. Check back to make sure you’ve used all the good bits from the old statement.

  • Experience - keep it relevant

If we continued to just add to our CV’s through our career it would grow into a monster report that no one will want to read through. Editing information about your earlier jobs is a must. It’s absolutely fine to reduce it to the Company, the job role, and the time you were there. If there was experience particularly relevant to the role you’re going for now, then just include information about that specific experience.

  • Skills – you’re getting better all the time

As you refresh your CV think about what you’ve learned in your current role – this has a lot to do with why you’re ready for the next job and why you’re suited to it, so make sure you talk about it. Include information about training courses and qualifications you might have attended/gained, responsibilities you’ve taken on, and things that you’re particularly proud of achieving in your current and previous roles.

  • Keywords

As the recruiter looks through applications they will be using their job experience requirements list as a check list. It’s important that you sign post your relevant experience as much as possible and using the same words they have used is an excellent way to do this. Simply spot the key words and use them in your descriptions of your own experience. This is almost as important as having the experience as many very experienced people are overlooked because they’re CV’s lack focus.

Get rid of clichés

Remember that the recruiter is looking through lots of CV’s and repetitively reading statements like “strong team player” or “an effective people manager” – can become a little painful for them. If you include these types of phrases, back it up with practical examples that evidences the statement you’ve made about yourself. For example – “I worked hard to create a fantastic team spirit that significantly contributed to the performance of the team overall”. Keep the examples short. These statements can be very good for catching the eye of the recruiter who will want to know more.

Proof Reading

Meticulously proofread your CV and go through a number of cycles of editing. This is the advert for you and it needs to be right and free of mistakes. Check spelling, grammar, formatting, consistency of abbreviations and capitalisation. If you’ve got someone available to read it take advantage of that. It’s all about making a great first impression.

Get going!

No time like the present. These tweaks and changes are simple. This is the easy first step to that job you know you deserve – so get going!

About this author

Thea is responsible for the UK & I marketing team as well as driving the strategic direction of the marketing function, looking closely at opportunities for growth, positioning in the marketplace and sales support. She was appointed to the Hays UK & I Board in July 2017, following joining the UK business in the summer of 2016.

Prior to her current role she was the Vice President of Marketing for the Hays Americas business, joining the business in 2012. Under her management she built the marketing function from general support to a strategic driver of sales, establishing a central marketing unit supporting Canada, US and four Latin American countries.


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