Nowadays we all need to keep an up to date CV at our finger tips. The working world is much more unstable than it used to be. On average in the UK people change employer every three years. Many people find creating or updating a CV to be a challenge that they put off. Often, they are concerned about appearing arrogant and find it hard to identify their achievements at work or in their social lives. You need to be able to present yourself strongly on paper to give yourself options, choices and control of your career. Here are some tips to get started:

Contact details: Add a personal email address and phone details. Also include the URL of your LinkedIn profile if you have one

Summary: Include a short paragraph at the top of your CV which lets the reader know what sort of role you are positioning yourself for, as well as your key skills matched to the role you are applying for and any knowledge, experience or qualifications that differentiate you from other applicants

Work History and key achievements: Starting with the most recent employer, list the organisation name, your job title and the years in each role on one line. For the roles you have held in the most recent ten years also add two or three lines describing your key responsibilities. Next, use bullet points and succinct language to summarise your main achievements whilst in that job. Try to include things that you have introduced or changed. Using the past tense, describe what you did and the results or benefits of doing so. For example, “Created a new Excel complex spreadsheet of monthly sales which saved two hours’ manual calculations per week”. Try to start each bullet point with a strong action verb like “introduced”, “helped”, “led”, or “developed”.

Personal Development: List up to five training experiences you have had in recent years either whilst working or in your personal time. These could include attending a conference or doing a free on-line course.

Membership of a Professional Body: Worth including this if you are a member as it shows a high level of expertise in your sector or function

Education: Add your highest level of qualifications whether from school or beyond

Personal Interests: Include this section if you have a hobby, play sport regularly or are an active volunteer. These all demonstrate commitment and energy

Contact sally@swcareercoaching.com if you would like more help to create or update a CV

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