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Spring Clean Your CV

When was the last time you updated your CV? Even if you're not actively looking for a job, it's a good idea to keep your CV fresh. Here are four ways to give your CV a modern makeover.

1.Cut the Clutter. If you listed every job you've ever had—including that three-month stint as a barista in college or the temp job you worked 15 years ago—it's time to ditch the irrelevant details. A CV isn't meant to be an exhaustive accounting of every job you've ever held. It's a marketing document designed to present you in the strongest, most compelling light.

2.Banish Clichés. Are you a detail-oriented problem solver? Great—but so is every other applicant for your dream job. Any word used at the right time in the right way can be powerful; however, when a word is overused, it loses its power. Given the volume of CVs recruiters sort through, words like innovative go stale quickly. A good rule of thumb is to imagine the opposite of whatever descriptive term you want to use on your CV. For example, the opposite of detail-oriented is careless, and the opposite of a problem solver is a troublemaker. If, as in this example, the opposite term is overwhelmingly negative, it's safe to cut the original description from your CV.

3.Show, Don't Tell. Your CV should provide details and examples of your achievements so that the employer can see what you could potentially bring to their role. If you are innovative, don't say it - prove it. Describe the processes you have modified or ideas you have developed. When you complete a major project at work, win an award, or achieve something noteworthy, add it to your CV. Prospective employers are much more impressed with facts than generalities, so update your CV while the specifics are still fresh in your mind.

4.Focus Above the Fold. "Above the fold" is a newspaper journalism term that's found continued life in the digital era. While it used to refer to the stories above the crease in a newspaper, it now describes text that appears on a computer screen before a reader needs to scroll down. That area of the page is prime space, and yet many CVs waste it on a header containing the jobseekers name and contact information. That's what's going to make your first impression—so, no matter what you have further down, you should ask yourself if the top third of that page serves as a hook that makes the recruiter eager to read more.

Trends come and go, and the must-have CV elements of yesterday are the dated clichés of today. A few years ago, experts recommended that everyone have an objective; now, objectives are passé and jobseekers are encouraged to write executive summaries instead. Next week, that advice will more than likely change again. Instead of following trends, stay focused on the purpose of your CV: To communicate, as clearly and concisely as possible, your qualifications for a particular position. None of the other bells and whistles matter.

A final word of caution: every time you revise your CV, you risk adding a mistake to document. Proof read after every update, and don't rely on your word processor's built-in spell check, which ignores common problems like contextual spelling errors. After all, the best way to show that you're detail oriented is to have an error-free resume!

If you're looking for your next agricultural job or career move in Agri business, do contact one of the team at De Lacy Executive - The specialists in Agricultural Recruitment. We will always treat your CV entirely confidentially and never share your personal details with anyone without your express consent.

We are experienced practical and supply trade agriculturalists who have developed an agricultural recruitment practice based on high ethical standards - we are the only agricultural recruitment consultancy approved as members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which oversees the UK's recruitment industry (REC Membership Number: 00082047). We are also registered with the Information Commissioner as data collectors - data is handled entirely within the rules of the Data Protection Act (Registration number Z1771871).

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