Is your CV ready for the January job boom?
It’s no secret that January is one of the best times of the year to look for a new job. With hiring managers given new budgets, and companies looking to work through their backlog from the Christmas season, the first month of the year is the ideal time to launch a new job search.
But before you go off and start applying for your next dream position, you’ll need to make sure your CV is up to date, especially if you’ve been in your current role for a long time. In this quick guide, we’re going to go over 6 easy ways you can update your CV in time for the January job boom. Let’s get started!
Update your employment history
If you haven’t applied for any other teaching roles since taking up your last position, then you definitely need to update your CV with your recent employment history (aka your current role.) Typically, hiring managers and employers are going to be the most interested in your last 3 years of employment, so this is your time to shine and make a stellar impression.
While taking care to outline your role and responsibilities, make sure to also throw in some key achievements from your current role. Whether it be helping your students achieve record-high exam grades, or simply increasing sign-ups for extra-curricular activities, don’t be afraid to show off what you’ve accomplished.
Upgrade your CV with a template
Out with the old, in with the new - this New Year mantra can also apply to your CV. It’s a good idea to update your CV regularly by using a different CV style or template, especially if you’re currently using a standard format, single-column CV. This is particularly useful if you’re at the beginning of your career, as a well-presented, stylish CV can often compensate for a lack of work experience.
While a CV template isn’t going to land you a job on its own, don’t forget hiring managers go through hundreds of CVs a day. You might be surprised at just how much an elegant, professional CV template can help you make a great first impression.
Cut old or out-of-date information
Once you’re established in your career, your CV shouldn’t be getting consistently longer - you just need to know how to cut out unimportant or irrelevant information to keep it precise. Start with your employment history - as mentioned above, your last 3 years of employment are the most interesting for any hiring manager, so always make sure you’re prioritising your recent roles.
Secondly, make sure to cut out any fluff or irrelevant information from your CV if it’s already too crowded or long. Ideally, a teaching CV should be 2 pages in length - anything longer might end up being skipped over by hiring managers and recruiters.
You can save space on your CV by removing unimportant sections such as “hobbies” or “interests”, or even by making your header smaller or removing your CV photo. You can also opt for a double-column CV, which can help you save space by forcing you to write in smaller, more easily-readable sentences.
Add new skills to your CV
If you’ve been working in a new teaching job for more than a year, you’ve earned the right to expand your ‘core skills’ section on your CV. After all, teaching is always going to be an unpredictable discipline - it’s inevitable that you’re going to pick up new skills based on where, who, and when you teach.
This is especially true if you’re at the beginning of your teaching career: you’ll notice that the more you teach, the more varied and extensive your skill set becomes. Don’t be afraid to document this evolution on your CV - schools and academic organisations value flexibility and adaptability as much as they value your educational background.
Don’t forget about soft skills
Being a teacher isn’t just about having the necessary qualifications or academic training to do the job; it’s also about showing how passionate you are about the power and importance of education. When recruiting for teaching positions, hiring managers are going to look for educators with an authentic, tangible passion for the field - this means developing a comprehensive CV profile that balances your work skills with your interpersonal skills, or ‘soft skills.’
You can show off this versatility in many ways; whether it be demonstrating how often you help with extra-curricular activities, discussing how you mentor your students, or, if you specialise in one subject, highlighting your personal interest in your field.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.
About the author
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading UK careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.