I’ve been working on my CV recently…actually I started working on it at the end of last year but I’ve been making the big edits in the last month or so. I worked at my previous job for six years and I stupidly did not keep my CV up to date during that time. What does that mean? That I’ve got a pretty big overhaul on my hands before I start applying for jobs. Oh how I wish I’d edited it little and often throughout those six years. What a beautiful thing hindsight is eh.
The version of my CV I’ve been working on was written just after leaving university when I was applying for grad schemes, internships, entry level jobs etc. It’s safe to say a lot of the information included back then is redundant now, but where do you start with getting it all up to date? I’ve gone down the route of adding to it and then editing down. It felt less like starting completely from scratch that way. Let’s be honest starting from scratch is always 10x harder than editing something that already exists. I’ve added in all the jobs I’ve held since leaving university, all at the same company but about 5 different roles over the 6 years I was there. I want to continue working in marketing but within a different industry. I’ve read when doing that it’s good to add in a short paragraph explaining why you want to change and how the skills you have can be applied to that industry. So that’s what I’ve done, it’s not very long but it’s an indication as to why I’ll be looking for jobs in a different industry. This paragraph still needs work done to it, but it’s a start.
Next up was changing some of the language on my CV. It was written just after I left university which as you’ll know from above is the last time I edited my CV. These were very small simple changes, removing words like recently attained etc. from the section about my degree. Having made some initial edits and having added my work history I decided to get some advice and have another pair of eyes look over it. I asked a couple of friends if I could send it over to them so they could take a look at it and give me their honest feedback. I knew they wouldn’t mince their words and would give constructive and honest suggestions that could help improve my CV. The advice they gave me was really helpful, simple but effective changes I could make and ways I could make my CV a little shorted. I think it’s really important to ask other people to look over your CV, documents can always be improved and asking people you trust to be honest with you is important too. It’s really helpful to get another opinion, especially from someone who either looks at CVs regularly or has recently had to edit their own for a job search etc. Especially when, like me, you haven’t had to edit your own or haven’t kept it up to date for so long. Also make sure you’re open to constructive feedback, no use asking for help if you’re then going to get annoyed when it’s given to you.
I’m still in the editing phase but will have it finished at the end of the month. I’m off on holiday in April and I’m going to start my job hunt when I get back in May, roughly two months before I’m returning to the UK (more on that to come next week). I find it quite difficult talking about achievements, I worry about coming across as arrogant but at the same time know that you have to talk about your accomplishments on your CV…it’s the whole point! Some of the advice I was given is that I need to be more confident and assertive with what I’ve done. So that’s next on my editing list. Also, keep the section on your education short. What you’ve achieved, where and at what level…that’s all prospective employees need to know or are interested in. Another edit I had to make!
I’m pretty nervous about the whole process of looking for a job. It’s not something I’ve had to do for a long time and the thought of going through interviews and applications is pretty scary. However, I need to be confident in myself and what I can do and what I have achieved. I also need to remind myself that I did something pretty brave just over 7 months ago and if I can do that I can do this! I’ll talk more about the job hunt next week!