Keeping your profile up to date

As we talk to candidates about new roles or approach candidates we believe are suitable for opportunities one of the most common themes we come across is that the candidate doesn’t have an up to date CV or in some cases no CV at all. In addition you mustn’t think about your CV in isolation, your LinkedIn profile and the story it tells goes hand in hand. For many individuals the thought of having to write a CV or doing a major update brings a sense of dread. Some candidates we have approached may even dismiss a role because it involves this exercise. This could result in you missing out on your next big opportunity and career progression.

Once you have the core structure in place (please see previous blog) keeping your CV up to date and relevant shouldn’t be that arduous a task and if an opportunity suddenly arises you can address quickly without the need to go back to the drawing board.

Appraisal Preparation = CV Refresh

One recommendation is to take a look at your CV every six months and coincide when you have your annual and mid-year reviews. As part of the preparation for this you will be making a note of all your key achievements whether that be projects delivered, cost savings, team development etc as well as new skills harnessed. Simply fold these key achievements and skills into your CV as a series of bullets. This is the first and most relevant thing a recruiter and interviewer will look at – tangible deliverables which have resulted in greater efficiencies for the business or improvements to the bottom line. By folding in your CV review with your appraisals you are achieving two things at once and won’t need to rack your brain again as you are already in the reviewing mindset. 

The new additions which go in at the top of your CV then provide you with an opportunity to condense the bottom. The additions will have likely taken the CV over two pages therefore to return it to just being double sided it is important to remove more historical information which may no longer be relevant or simply superseded by recent achievements. As time goes on you can also reduce the size of the educational attainment section almost exclusively focusing on your last qualification.

Review of Personal Profile

Don’t forget to refresh the personal profile at the top. Using the same techniques as your mid/annual reviews which is effectively a sales pitch to your line manager you can achieve the same objective to your potential new employer. This should only be a paragraph, therefore remove or demote less relevant points.

Give it the once over

The number of times I have looked back at an old document and seen a typo or a misconstructed sentence which could have been worded better (there is probably one in this blog). Even though you are not rewriting the whole document have a quick scan through everything and do a little bit of housekeeping.

Design Refresh

I am certainly not suggesting doing this every six months but every now and again it is worth googling or looking at some of the latest templates in MS Word or Google Docs to bring your layout and design to current thinking. Without going crazy some design enhancements with a neater layout can catch the eye making you stand out from the crowd.

Keep it to hand

No one really wants to rebuild a CV from scratch but with laptops being replaced every few years it may well be lost in the relics of an old c drive or memory stick.  Save everything to your personal cloud therefore no matter where you are or what device you are using you will always have key documents like your CV to hand. 

Don’t forget LinkedIn.

If you are on LinkedIn keeping this profile up to date is just as important as your CV. The first port of call is if you don’t have a photograph, add one. It is said that your profile and network is half as effective if you don’t have a picture. Having a picture creates a greater sense of connection than the default avatar. 

A significant proportion of people also do not have any responsibilities or achievements listed under their current employer. If you have been there a significant amount of time this could mean that whoever is viewing your profile may not have visibility of what you have achieved for x amount of years…. therefore you are instantly dismissed from a potential opportunity. The most common reason for this being blank is that no-one wants to state any company secrets, strategy etc and subsequently be in breach of their contract however you can still put a few key bullets without giving away anything commercially sensitive.

Like the CV some people can avoid updating LinkedIn. Taking a step back if you think about the time a week you spend on your smart phone what is 30 minutes giving your LinkedIn profile a quick tidy up? I don’t know a single employer or recruiter who hasn’t used LinkedIn as one of their first port of calls for identifying and reviewing prospective candidates.

Owning your personal profile in the digital age is more important than ever but these few simple techniques means it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking and can simply become business as usual. As always here at Red Tiger Talent were are here to support you and your careers ambitions. We are more than happy to review your personal profile and provide some guidance whether you are looking for your next role or simply need to get everything up to date.

Images: Simple-Solutions

What Does a Recruiter Look For in a CV?

When it comes to advancing your career or looking for a new role your CV should work as a personal marketing leaflet for you. It is a way to connect with a potential employer before you meet them and, as they say, first impressions last. If your CV is not up to scratch, then you may never get to meet the employer, and could miss out on a job that is perfect for you. As a boutique recruitment company, specialising in property research, site location planning and customer insight roles, Red Tiger Talent has had many a CV passed our way. So, we have put together some tips to make your CV work for you.

Good presentation

Before you have even made it to the interview stage you need to be thinking about how to present yourself to a prospective employer. A professional looking CV is essential: excellent formatting, well organised information, correct spelling and grammar are all paramount. Your CV should be just the right mix of efficient, easy to read and logical, whilst at the same time standing out from others so that your CV makes it to the top of the pile.

Stay relevant

Always tailor your CV for the role you are applying for, as you need to sell your particular blend of skills and experience and show you are the right fit for the role. Make sure you include everything that is relevant to the role you are applying for, including work experience, any volunteer work and training. This is where having a section near the top of your CV (such as Personal Profile) where you can highlight key skills for the role is helpful. A generic or out of date version may give the impression that you are not really that interested in the role.

The Essentials

There are many styles, and infinite amounts of information that you could cram into your CV, but it is best to opt for minimalism and a professional look. Here are the essential sections your CV should have:

Name, professional title and contact details – no need for age or even address as this valuable space can be used for experience.

Personal Profile – who are you, what can you do and what can you offer the company. Use empowering words like planned, managed, implemented, organised, achieved. Think of this as a professional summary and sales pitch so this is the place to highlight key skills you have that are required for the role you are applying for.

Experience and employment history – show in reverse chronological order with the most recent first. Give an outline of key responsibilities and key achievements/projects, using bullet points. Remember to be specific to the role you apply for – a senior analyst post will not require any reference to the paper round you had at 13, whereas the customer service job you had in a shop whilst at university may be relevant to a client facing role.

Education and qualifications – if you have plenty of work experience then you need only go as far back as your degree for this, unless your A level’s are in a particular subject relevant to the role.

References – mentioning at the bottom that references are available on request is a good way of saving space.

Remember to save your CV in a widely used format such as Word, or even better as a PDF so no accidental changes can be made. The best title for your file would be your full name followed by CV and the date you most recently updated it. This helps you to know that it is an updated copy, and also helps any recruiter or HR personnel know whose CV they are about to look at and that it is a recent copy.

Here to help

If you are considering looking for another role, or just want to update your CV to reflect your current experience in case an interesting role comes along, then Red Tiger Talent are here to help you. We will look over your CV and give you some tips on content and general advice on how to achieve the next step in your career, so please get in touch.

Send us your CV