With your PGCE finally completed and school nearly out for summer it's the perfect time to amend and update the dreaded CV. I say dreaded because even I know how difficult it is to sit down, concentrate, write cheesy lines about how good you are and know what to include when applying for different jobs. The thing is, so many schools (or any company for that matter) receive hundreds of CV's per week, so it's vital that your attention to detail is spot on. It's all good and well popping in a few extra lines here and there but as jobs & times change certain aspects will become dated. Hurrah for the six-week break but I think it's time we all made the most of these spare few hours, after all your CV is the tool that will land you your dream job...
Previous RELEVANT Experience - It's always great to show how hard-working you are, I had my first job at 14 and I always like to tell people this as it shows my commitment to earning my keep, however dating your experience back to 2001 is going to take up unneeded space. If you're applying for a teaching job, save those extra few lines for educational experience, fight your corner with roles that support your job application, after all these are what could differentiate you from the 50 other candidates.
Keep it Clear - Messy layout, messy mind? I know it sounds pretty judgemental but your CV is the only thing that stands for who you are as a person before they get to meet you. Keep it spot on, straight to the point, bullet pointed and in a standard font, don't get me wrong I love the fancy text writing but it doesn't look very professional on paper.
A* in Grading - After working hard and completing our qualifications, it's no surprise that we want every employer to know what we've achieved. GCSE's, A levels, University degrees are all important, but not every subject needs to be listed, it's all about relevance! Be sure to include everything you have gained but you don't need to list every subject you've retained a mark in, the good grades will speak for themselves.
Short & Snappy - Let me start by saying 2 pages, and end by saying 2 pages. In a busy world people who have a to do list the length of their arm are not going to want to spend hours trawling through paragraphs that could be summed up in a few short bullet points. Make sure your opening sentences portray something along the lines of 'you'll be missing out if you don't read on' and continue to be precise throughout.
One Does Not Suit All -It's difficult enough writing one, never mind tailoring to suit the roles requirements, but it has to be done. If you're applying to be a teacher then keep it relevant, your two summers of bar work abroad were definitely times to remember, but they probably aren't worth including in your previous experience. Remember to edit your cover letters, research the company you're applying to work for and read into the job description. If you do have limited experience, it's about drawing out the transferable skills to teaching, for example times you've remained calm & managed difficult situations. Sell your energy, enthusiasm and commitment to teaching & remember to say why you'd love to teach at this particular school. Doing these small but important tasks means that you fit all the criteria suggested and that way no one can argue you're not the perfect applicant for the job... 'cheque' mate.
Online Presence - Whilst updating your paper CV, try to keep online profiles up to date also. Employers are very likely and try to hunt you down online (trust me, it's my job!) so continue to edit and add your achievements/work status', particularly on platforms such as LinkedIn. For those of you that are behind on the technological advances, give it a go! If you're a little sceptical about the social media side of things then consider signing up to job sites or agencies *cough cough* which too could help to open plenty of doors.
The best part of all of this? Keeping your CV updated doesn't have to take a huge amount of time, especially if you’re editing every now and again. Simply allocating 30 minutes or so every month can be enough to give your resume the polishing-up it needs, so no excuses!