Christmas is coming… Time to “spruce up” your CV!

The festivities have started, the Christmas lights have been switched on and consensus has been reached on the best Christmas advert for 2019 (John Lewis apparently, although I find the Sainsbury’s one very bold). For many people, this is a time to reflect and take stock of their career and potentially prepare for a move in the New Year… or at least consider how green the grass is in pastures new!

If this is your intention, then December is the perfect time to work on and update your CV. Your resume is often your first encounter with a future employer and it’s important to make the right impression. I thought I’d give you a few tips on what we recruiters, and our clients, like to see:

  1. Layout: start with a personal statement and follow with a section on education; focus on your achievements and key skills you have; your work experience in reverse chronological order and conclude with your hobbies and interests. You don’t need to include your age/date of birth, marital status, a photo or your address.
  2. Avoid leaving gaps and explain any that exist. If you have taken on interim or temp roles, then indicate the nature of the contract on your CV.
  3. Don’t clutter your CV with too much information; use bullet points and short sentences and avoid repeating the same or similar duties under each position.
  4. Length: ideally a CV shouldn’t be more than 2 pages long, however if you have a lot of experience at a high level it’s ok to go over that. For position you held a long time ago or ones that are not relevant to your current career path, you can just include the company name, job title and the dates you were in the role.
  5. Ensure punctuation, syntax, grammar and spelling are correct, as this will demonstrate your attention to detail. Proofread the document and ask a friend/colleague to do the same as a second pair of eyes is always helpful.

TOP TIP; to have the best chance at securing an interview, customise your CV for each position. Highlight any skills and achievements that are relevant to the specific role you are applying for. You can usually identify these by looking at the job description or the advert. Apart from making it crystal clear that you are the right person for the job, tailoring your CV will show the prospective employer that you have put time an effort into your application.

As you’d expect, January is always a busy time for us and our clients, with recruitment activity increasing dramatically; new budgets are often released and people are more ready to move positions, which in turn releases new opportunities. It’s worth viewing your CV is a working document, which you are updating throughout the year, so it’s always ready when you need it. However, if you have been busy, now is a good time to refresh it and share it with us, so you are in the forefront of our minds and so we can approach you about appropriate career opportunities.

If you need advice on how to improve your CV or you are interested in hearing about opportunities in the CoSec market, then email a member of our team at or give us a call on 020 3589 0333 for a confidential discussion.


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