Once you have completed your CV it can be tempting to clear it from the to do list and avoid editing it unless you absolutely have to. However, if you are actively looking for a new position this is a great time to continue to engage with your CV. There are a few key questions you may need to ask yourself.
‘Would I want to read this?’ Linking back to the first ‘e’, engagement, it’s a good idea to evaluate whether you would actually want to read this CV if someone else’s name was on top. Would you find it engaging? Is it too long and wordy?
‘Would I want to hire this person?’ Put yourself in the place of the employer, if you were in their position and were presented with this application, what would you think of it? While it’s going to be hard to be objective, you might find it useful to consider your application from a new perspective.
‘Is there something I could be doing better?’ If you are not getting shortlisted after applying for a few roles in your chosen industry, evaluate your application materials, Cover Letter; CV; Key Selection Criteria; whatever you are required to submit. Look at it again with fresh eyes, is there anything you can see that can be improved on? What are you least confident about? What might be the weak link? If you think the weak link is your CV, reassess. Check for relevance, ease, engagement and whether you are clearly outlining your strengths and abilities. It’s worth having a friend, colleague or mentor read through your application and give you some constructive feedback as well.
‘Can I tailor this to the role I am applying for?’ It isn’t uncommon for job seekers to send in the exact same application for numerous positions only changing the bare essentials (organisation, contact, role, etc.) that is, if they even remember to change those! However, there are numerous ways an application can be strengthened by taking a little extra time and tailoring your materials to the role you are applying for. Perhaps there were some key attributes mentioned in the job listing, the organisations website might list the values they operate under. Finding ways to highlight these skills and values in your CV will help demonstrate how you are the right fit for the role and improve your chances of securing an interview. If you take the time you will find plenty of ways to tailor your applications for the individual roles you apply for.
Continuing to evaluate your CV, and finding ways to improve or adapt it, will ensure you are able to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.