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How can a mid-career professional create the perfect CV?

Posted on 2nd September 2015

If you've been working in a particular  company for several years, chances are you haven't refreshed your CV for quite some time. You might not even have taken a proper look at it since you left uni! But if you're looking to climb up the next rung on the professional ladder, then it's time you dusted it off and make sure it says everything an employer needs to know about you in the here and now.

When you're applying for your first post-uni job, your work experience will naturally be quite limited and you'll make a big deal of saying what academic qualifications you've gained. But with a few years of life in the workplace under your belt, your CV will need a different emphasis and instead lead on what you've done while in paid employment.

So here a few tips to make sure a CV allows you to show your best side to recruiters and hiring managers…

Think carefully about how to start CV
Put yourself in the recruiters' position and remember that  we are  almost always confronted with a staggering number of CVs. This is why the opening section needs to grab  our attention, or else  we’ll simply move on to the next one.
WIth this in mind, kick off your CV with a short summary of the information  we are after. Once you've hooked us in, you can then go into more detail later on.

List previous jobs in reverse chronological order
Start with your most recent job and work backwards, with a short summary of your tasks and responsibilities in each one, as well as your employment dates. This allows you to show you've been in steady work for several years and have picked up many skills and capabilities throughout your professional life. It might also highlight exactly why you believe you're keen to take the next step up the career ladder.

Format CV consistently
Don't use a numbered list in one section and a bullet point list in another. It's just jarring and might make the recruiter wonder if you've actually bothered to look at your CV in its entirety. Of course, there's no strict template you're obliged to follow, but adopting a consistent approach obviously helps to make you look focused and professional - two attributes that will surely endear you to any hiring manager.

Proofread CV before sending it off
It's hard to get away with claiming you're highly professional and experienced and then show you lack basic knowledge such as where to put an apostrophe. So make sure that you read through it and check for any spelling, punctuation or grammatical mistakes after you've written it. And it's certainly a good idea to get it proofread by another person too, as a fresh pair of eyes could spot errors you've totally missed.

Don't send a generic CV
Recruiters will be turned off if you've not gone to the trouble of tailoring your application for the role. Show you've done your research and flag up those professional experiences that specifically relate to the job description they've gone to the trouble of preparing. This is really important! Your CV is not designed just to show off how great you are and everything you've ever done. Instead, it's there to tell you prospective employer how you can meet their very specific needs. Showing you understand this makes you look professional and demonstrates that you have a few years in the workplace under your belt.

Don’t forget, here at The Maine Group, we can help with any CV advice you may have. Just give your consultant a call, or email us – and we’ll be happy to help!