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Copywriting tips for updating your CV

So, I've been helping some other new mums recently to update their CV's as, unfortunately, way too many are needing to change their jobs to accommodate the flexibility they want in their new role as a mum (but that's a whole other blog). A little bit of copywriting magic can really make a difference to a CV and it's made me realise just how much we struggle to edit ourselves, pick out our strengths and highlight those key achievements and great work experience. Having another pair of eyes on our most precious career deciding document is often exactly what the recruiter ordered. 

It's the hardest thing to write about yourself, especially in the concise but powerful way needed to get you noticed in the competitive job market. I speak from experience - my CV, LinkedIn and website are never finished and I'm my own harshest critic.  In light of this, I thought I share some simple tips you can use to help you streamline your CV and LinkedIn profile copy and get you noticed faster.

Looks do matter

Remember that the average hiring manager will spend less than 10 seconds looking at your CV. You've got to get them hooked quickly and I recommend you definitely don't go over two pages. Don't write you're whole life story, you only need enough info to get you noticed.

Make the layout simple using headings and section titles so it makes it easy to skim read with concise copy that has the keywords of your industry/skill set jumping out of the page. No images, fancy fonts or OTT design necessary.

Tailored to fit

Make sure your CV is tailored to the industry and role you are applying for. This may mean making slight tweaks when applying for each new role, but if you are ticking all their boxes in the first few glances it's worth the 15 mins of extra work before sending off an application. Oh yeah, but don't lie that'll just open a can of worms.

Add a short summary about yourself to start things off (just one or two sentences) especially if you are looking for a career change. Then add your current or most recent role followed by your other work experience - remember to keep it short and to the point. Include a summary of your education (most recent comes first) and at the end, you can mention what you do outside of work - hobbies or interesting skills.

Show them you'll deliver

It's all very well listing every item that's in your job description but what recruiters/managers really want to know is can you actually get results? Will you deliver that project on deadline and within budget? Have you been recognised for exceptional work or won any awards? Make sure you communicate what your proudest outcomes or best results were for each of your previous roles. Use data to highlight great achievements and it's important to sell you! Try something like 'due to an initiative of mine our email marketing database grew 200% during my first six months in the job'. Show them you're a star and it'd be their loss not to hire you.

There you go - updating your CV really can be quick, simple and not too painful. However, if you still can't face it get in touch with me to update it for you and I'll give you one less thing to worry about.

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