New Year, New CV

By Rebecca, Work It Out volunteer • 9 January 2020

Rebecca is one of Young Women’s Trust’s Feedback Volunteers – she is an experienced HR and recruitment professional, who is currently training to be a careers coach. She has been giving advice to young women on their CVs through Young Women’s Trust for over a year. Here she outlines 5 important things to remember when you are preparing your CV. 

“I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible.” ― Oprah Winfrey

The New Year is a great time for job searching – everything feels fresh and new, and there is a hint of energy and optimism which bursts through the festive haze. Spending a few hours creating a new CV gives you time to capture that feeling on paper, to slow down and really think about what is important to you. The key is to find a way to tell the story of what you have done, what you can do, and what you want to happen next (and on only two pages!). 

Make it a new CV – It can be very tempting to just add your last job onto your CV and squish the formatting a bit – don’t! Take the New Year as an opportunity to start from scratch and revaluate everything you include – it takes time, but as your life and career develop, so should your CV. 

Don’t forget your audience – You are writing a CV to show an employer why you are the best person for their particular job; it isn’t just a record of all the awesome things you have done in your life. 

Focus on your achievements – Rather than including a list of all your responsibilities in each job, employers really want to know how good you were and what the impact was of what you did. Giving evidence of specific achievements with facts or figures can be a great way to show this. 

Pick up clues – Look at the language the employers use on their website, branding and job advert and try to mirror it in the way you word your own application. This demonstrates that you are passionate about their company and a great fit.

Proofread – Mistakes in your CV could show an employer that you don’t have the ‘attention to detail’ or ‘excellent presentation skills’ that many job descriptions ask for.  If you find proofreading difficult, you could ask a friend to help by reading through it carefully for you.

It’s a challenging task, but you can do it – and when you have a first draft, send it to YWT for free personalised feedback. Happy New Year and good luck with the job search!

Work It Out job application feedback offers free personalised support on your CV, cover letter or job application and is available to any woman aged 18-30 living in England and Wales. Sign up for Work It Out today.