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Outdated to updated?: Quick tips for CV renewal

Written by Karin Lee-Hansen June 30 2020

Does your CV need a new look? Do you know how to give it that new look?

Many job seekers don’t, especially those who’ve been working for awhile and haven’t had to think about putting their education and work experience to (digital) paper.

And yet, as in many areas of life – the job application world is one that has been changing, and the information you might have written on your CV/cover letter years ago is no longer being used. (Really?, you ask. Yes, really.)

With this thought in mind, here are four sections of your CV that you’ll want to change:

Career Objectives vs Professional Summary

Remember how you were supposed to write your objectives/aims at the top of your CV? Something like ‘Experienced engineer who is seeking a management position…’

This type of ‘what’s-in-it-for-me’ statement has been replaced with a brief ‘what-I-can-do-for-you’ summary of what you’ll bring to the specific job for which you’re applying. You should describe in one concisely written paragraph how your background and experience are a good fit for this job.

Responsible for vs Accomplishments

Instead of putting down the tired old phrase ‘Responsible for [such and such tasks]…under your current/former positions in your Work Experience section, write what you accomplished at each job you’ve had.

Use active verbs like ‘created, implemented, managed’ and numbers to show what you’ve achieved.

Use active verbs like ‘created, implemented, managed’ and numbers (sales figures and the like) to show what you’ve achieved.

References provided upon request

You can delete this section about references altogether as hiring managers assume that you have them. So just have their contact information ready should you be called in for an interview and asked to provide them.

Generic vs Individualized CV

Don’t fall into the trap of using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ CV for every job you apply for!

I get it – most people detest writing their resumé, and so after cranking out one version of it, they end up sending it in for every job they apply for. But this is often a waste of time, as hiring managers want someone they see has put in a little extra effort.

Hint: See the ‘Background Summary’ section above? If you just can’t rewrite your entire CV to tailor it to a specific job, at least change your Summary section to make it apply to whatever position you’re trying for, okay?

Try out these tips when putting your CV together, and you’ll know that you’re doing your best to present your updated self when re-entering the job-seeking world.

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