Careers Advice

Stop, re-write and refresh

It’s that time of year when many of us contemplate making a change in our professional lives. Whether that be pushing for promotion, leaving your current role or a complete career change spending some time refreshing your CV is a great starting point for gathering your thoughts and cutting a plan.

Here are some simple ideas that will help get you on the path to that new job you want.

Re-format your CV

Chances are your CV won’t be viewed on a laptop so make sure that it can be easily read on smartphone or tablet. You will also need a text version for uploading onto job boards or to add to application forms. You can be flexible with layout and style in some industries too; particularly if you are handing over paper CVs in meetings with prospective employers.

Personal Statement

Being concise in this section is best. Outline your career history, your current situation and what you are looking for next.


Is everything on there still relevant? Keep this section streamlined by making sure you focus on the experiences you have had that will make a difference to the roles you are now interested in.


What new skills have you acquired since you last wrote your CV? Add training courses, ways you have upskilled yourself or taken on responsibility. Providing online evidence of these examples can provide you with a useful shop window for your skills.


Identify keywords on the job description for your ideal roles and incorporate these in the skills and experience sections. With recruiters using keywords screening algorithms more and more this will help your CV get over the first hurdle.

Less clichés more action verbs

‘Strong team player’ ‘self-starter’ ‘solution focused’ ‘blue-sky thinker’. All these and many more are overused and frankly have become redundant. If you try to include action verbs, they will encourage you to provide evidence of what you have actually done and allow you to talk about the outcomes of actions rather than airy-fairy, bland statements that make you look like a failed Apprentice candidate.


Customising your CV for the job you are applying for is just good practice. Focus on the skills and experiences you have that are best suited to the job you want and play down those that are not so relevant. For example, when applying for a customer facing role you don’t need to go on about the data entry job you had eight years ago.

Social Proof

It is a given these days that you can expect your social media profile to be checked out by potential employers. Make your profile more appealing by adding information/evidence of your professional life to demonstrate that you contribute to industry discussions and debates. Make sure that details on your CV match details on your LinkedIn profile and put your LinkedIn URL on your CV contact details.


Sorry to use shouty capitals but it cannot be said loud enough. Read it back to yourself and get someone else to read through it too as it is so hard to spot errors in your own writing. Simple grammatical and spelling mistakes in your CV are a sure-fire way to ensure it ends up in the recycling bin. No matter how good the content such errors smack of a lack of attention to detail, never an attractive trait for potential employers.