June 29, 2016
by Neil Turner
I’ve updated my CV. It’s available to view as a web page, and also as a downloadable PDF.
Whilst I’m not specifically looking for new jobs, I’ve been required to update my CV due to some restructuring at work. This restructuring will require me to apply for jobs in the new structure, as my existing role will cease to exist shortly, and I’d been asked to submit an updated CV as part of the application process.
I wrote my original CV whilst still a student, and it had been updated gradually over time to add skills and new information. Consequently, it focussed more on my educational, rather than professional background, and was full of things I did at university up to a decade ago. Whilst I’m proud of what I did at university, clearly I should be more able to talk about what I do now. And this was a document that had evolved over a 12-13 year period. So I scrapped the whole thing, and started again.
I went for a different look – before, it was rather cramped, and used Arial which, though readable, is rather boring. I switched this out for Gill Sans – still a very readable font, but it’s just a little bit different. My professional experience is put first and foremost, above my education history, and I also focussed on key achievements in my previous role. Before, I just talked about what I did, and not where I had gone above and beyond. I think it looks more impressive now.
Outdated information, such as serving on student union councils and committees, are gone, and instead I’ve listed completed training courses. As I’m mostly interested in administration-based roles, I feel this is relevant, but would probably replace it for a more creative or IT-focussed role. I’ve also separated my technical skills from my clerical skills – renamed ‘professional skills’.
Although it’s my CV and I’ve rewritten it from scratch, it is also a ‘document by committee’. I shared a Dropbox link to it amongst my friends on Facebook, and several of my friends offered some constructive suggestions for improvements. One of my friends is a university careers advisor and her tips were a real help. And my employer organised a CV and interviews workshop for staff affected by the restructuring, and this incorporates some of the ideas that I picked up.
I’m sure it’s not a perfect CV and, with more work, I could probably improve it further. The good news is that, of the four posts that I have put myself forward for, I’ve managed to get interviews for two so far and should hear about the other two shortly. If you need to work on your CV, I hope that my experience has been useful for you.