The days are getting longer, the daffodils are blooming, and everyone’s feeling energised. So there’s arguably no better time to clear the underbrush that’s holding you back from your CV and give your career options an injection of spring vitality.
Emphasise industry placements. If your studies included an industry placement, promote it to a prominent position on your CV, and treat it as you would any paid experience. Emphasise the skills you developed as well as your achievements and the effect they had on the organisation. Even if the placement is not relevant to your current career goals, you will still have gained valuable transferable skills that you can show off to prospective employers. Perhaps include a short testimonial from your manager or supervisor to endorse your skills and experience. (See ethos.)
Haven’t got any? Consider signing up for a summer internship. Or take up a voluntary role. Even if it’s just for one day a week, employers tend to covet proactive candidates over applicants that assume finishing their degree and getting a 2;1 would be enough to compete successfully in competitive industries. Treat any placements as you would paid employment, and emphasise the impact your presence had on the organisation. Try to look to filling your CV with anecdotes based on the STAR method – Situation, Task, Action, Result. This will impress employers and convinces them of your value. Work placements help make the most of your experience and show employers you can offer more than just a degree.
Never stop learning. If you’re unemployed, creating a section on your CV for ongoing training can help you fill any gaps and reassure employers that you are proactive and serious about self-development. Ask your local jobcentre, college or university about training opportunities. Or perhaps consider learning from home. The Open University is perhaps the best-known correspondence course provider. But Linkedin Learning is now proving very popular, too.
Learn a language. The benefits of becoming bilingual are multitudinous. For a start, the benefits to cognition are well documented by numerous studies which prove the brains of people that speak two or more languages work differently. One study from Spain’s University of Pompeu Fabra showed that multilingual people are better at observing their surroundings. The advantage to the job searcher should be obvious. But learning a language opens all kinds of employment opportunities, from studying abroad, perhaps in a teaching role, to the lucrative translation services sector, or maybe even in an exciting position with the Department of State.
Consider employing the services of a professional CV writer. If you are not 100 percent confident in your CV, it could well worth investing in a CV written by a professional CV writer. A professional CV writer can help identify and emphasise the key achievements and skills necessary for a role in a particular sector, and to cut out any unnecessary details that are ‘padding’ your CV and stopping it from getting you to the interview stage. The objectivity of a professional CV writer is probably the main benefit of the services.