How to get the most out of your CV

March 6, 2020

During these challenging and unprecedented times, you may be feeling anxious or uncertain about your current situation at work or you may simply be using this time to reflect on what you want from your career. Irrespective of your individual situation, a really good habit to get into is updating your CV every 6-12 months whether you are looking for a new job or not – this means that you will be able to keep your CV focused and ensure you are not scrambling around trying to remember achievements from 3 or 4 years ago. Collating a CV can often feel like a long and daunting task, so I have put together some information about what to include to get yourself noticed in a competitive tax recruitment market.

Your CV is essentially a sales document for you to showcase your skills, experience and qualifications to a future employer. I would always recommend tailoring your CV to each role you apply for – work with your recruitment consultant to get their advice on what an employer is looking for and utilise a job description by going through each point mentioned and ensuring that your relevant experience is clearly detailed in your CV.

When writing a CV, it is important to start with the basics:

  • Contact details
  • Education
  • Professional qualifications – highlight any first-time passes and/or relevant achievements
  • Languages – state the proficiency level
  • Career history – it is widely advised to put this in reverse chronological order, so your last and most relevant role is the first an employer reads
  • Referees – this is more relevant to those who are immediately available and seeking interim work

When it comes to your career history, you want to include:

  • Dates you worked for a company
  • The company name
  • Your job title
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Key achievements

Use bullet points and subheadings to make the content easily digestible and with every point you make, you should be thinking ‘how does this add value to a future employer.

As well as including all of the above, there are some things to avoid when putting your CV together:

  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors – it is all too easy to miss these when you have looked at a document several times, so make sure you get someone else to proofread your CV
  • Do not leave any gaps in your CV – a future employer wants to see that all your time has been accounted for
  • Do not embellish or be economical with the truth – your CV is often used as the starting point for discussions at interviews so you will get found out
  • Do not list interests and hobbies for the sake of it – it is great to show as much of your personality as possible, however, if it doesn’t add value to a future employer then I would advise you to leave it out

Acknowledging that everyone’s CV will be unique to them as well as having specific motivations for putting one together, and the team at Brewer Morris are keen to offer bespoke support and advice so please get in touch. Brewer Morris was the first-ever specialist tax recruitment consultancy, established over 30 years ago. We have a team of dedicated consultants who operate across the tax market, covering all tax disciplines and markets as well as interim recruitment, so we are well placed to give you the inside track on how to put yourself in the best position for your next role in tax.

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