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Spring clean your contractor CV in ten minutes!

Spring clean your contractor CV in ten minutes!

The idea of overhauling your CV can be so daunting that you keep putting it off for another day. It’s much more manageable to spend ten minutes focusing on certain tasks or on a particular section each day. Keeping your contractor CV up to date is crucial. It’s important that your CV reflects your latest experience, as well as your professional progression. With daffodils in the hedgerows, this is the perfect time to blow off the cobwebs and blitz your CV with our ten minute spring clean.

Contact details: It’s surprising how many people forget to change their address and phone number after a move, or maybe you’ve changed your main email address. Make sure you don’t miss out on an interview opportunity simply because the client can’t get hold of you. Next, check any links and update the URLs if they’ve changed. Links often ‘break’ as content gets shifted round a website, so make sure yours lead to the right place – this could be your LinkedIn profile or your online portfolio.

Polish your headline and your introductory paragraph: Research into recruiter behaviour found that, on average, recruiters spend just six seconds looking at each CV.  As a contractor, it’s important that you have a strong headline that summarise your title, sector and professional qualifications. This will allow recruiters to pinpoint the exact information they require in the first few seconds of looking at your resume.

Optimise your introductory paragraph with keywords: Although you should aim to target this for each new role, having a basic introduction that concisely summarises your main skills and experience is important. This will allow you to highlight relevant information and incorporate sector-specific keywords. Many companies use sophisticated software to scan CVs and some contractors submit their CV to recruitment websites used by hiring managers to search for candidates. Make sure that your resume is optimised for any terms that might be searched for by your next potential client.

Add your latest experience: With the completion of each assignment, your experience and skills will grow. Remember to update your CV with your latest role, while taking the opportunity to weed out any previous contracting roles that no longer reflect your primary talents. Remember, recruiters want contractors at the top of their game, so bin anything that’s outdated.

Update your qualifications: If you’ve taken any training courses or received a professional accreditation, don’t forget to update your qualifications. You can also include details of courses that you’re currently taking and exams that you’re expecting to sit. This can be important when applying for roles that require specific expertise and can make the difference between you and another candidate.

Check for visual impact: Make sure the layout is clear and logical with uniform formatting for spacing and titles. Keep to classical fonts such as Calibri or Times New Roman and avoid graphics or italics that can be distracting and gimmicky. When you’ve added new content, it’s a good idea to manually proofread your document for any spelling mistakes as autocorrect can often default to American English.

Eliminate generic words and terms: Take the opportunity to weed out buzzwords such as ‘innovative’ and ‘dynamic’ that tend to be overused by candidates. Remember, since many contractors might have similar skills, recruiters are looking for information that differentiates you from the competition. Buzzwords tend to clutter your information with generic terms. You should take every opportunity to make your CV genuinely interesting and unique.

Contracting Scout can provide you with information on a number of contracting issues. To speak to a member of our team, call: 0203 603 1878

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