It’s dark, cold, and everyone is full of winter. It’s within these stark, barren times when job hunting can become even more labourious, when all you want to do is spend your spare time stoking your log-burning fire, eating, or hibernating – filing yourself away from the frozen world outside.

However, with a new year comes a resurgent recruitment drive from companies nationwide, and with that comes an influx of new jobs. Therefore, if there’s one thing you should be doing before the new year is sprucing up your CV in order to get ahead of your jobseeker competition.

This is particularly important if you are professionally represented by a recruitment agency, who will need an up-to-date CV to be able to offer you positions of more relevance. How are they going to know if your situation has changed?

Adapt for the contract type that you are looking for

Within your CV, you have the opportunity to make yourself a candidate as per the contract type that you are looking for. For example, if you’re looking to temp, you can be smart about the skills that you list and how you list them. Recruiters look for certain buzzwords within a CV to identify which kind of contract that they should consider placing you in, which include: adaptive, good team worker, self-motivated, flexible. All of these skills indicate that you are idea for a temporary role, where you will need to adapt quickly to a new environment.

Put yourself in the position of a Recruitment Manager/Consultant

Although most people feel that they can write about their skills and career as a professional across pages and pages of A4, a smarter strategy would be to refine it to its simplest form, therefore making it more attractive to a resourcing manager or a recruitment consultant. Think about it, large blocks of text and endless lists (no matter how impressive) won’t sit well with a recruiter who needs to digest hundreds of CVs in any given working day. They are looking to read your CV at speed, and will most likely discard yours if its be poorly formatting or lacks refinement.

Remember; cut to the chase – your CV isn’t a eulogy of your career – it is a document of cold, hard facts about you as a professional.

Think about your experience

Over the course of 2014, it might well be the case that your job situation has changed considerably, and if you are seeking a new job, you may have changed your mind which direction your career is heading in.

If this is the case you may well find that your experience listed in your CV is out-of-date and no longer relevant. In some cases, people have found that older experience, that wasn’t listed in their CV, has become relevant again.

Remember ,you should tailor your experience that you include in your CV to put you in a better position to be picked up for the job that you currently desire.

Reconsider the layout, modernise

Trends move fast these days, and in particular, the across the web. With most CVs existing online, CVs are coming under increased scrutiny if their basic layout and design is out-of-date – which happens a lot quicker these days. For example, serif fonts are a bit of a no-no at the moment, whereas simple, unfussy layouts are very much in fashion.

If you’re in doubt, or if design isn’t your thing, there are many decent online tools around to help you produce a modern-looking CV.

Concentrate on your expertise

With another year passing, it’s likely that you have enhanced and achieved a greater depth of expertise in your professional field. Therefore you should consider further refining your technical skills that you list in your CV. Whilst it’s fantastic that you are a diverse, multi-talented individual, with a penchant for racquet sports and Sudoku, you should really focus in on the core skills relevant to the roles that you want to be considered for.

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