When was the last time you updated your CV? If you haven’t reviewed it in a while, spring is the perfect time of year to get it out and dust it off. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job at the moment it’s still a good idea to keep your details up to date and ready to be submitted should an appealing opportunity come your way. It’s incredibly difficult to recall and articulate all your achievements when you absolutely must so at the very least do yourself justice by updating your CV and online profile once a year.

Here are four ways to give your CV the update it needs :-

1) Declutter

Take out information that no longer supports your career aspirations or next steps, or is irrelevant. Your CV needs to be a carefully calculated summary creating a picture of who you currently are professionally and the exceptional benefits you offer a prospective employer above any other candidate. Use the appropriate keywords and a range of strong, positive explanations of what you have accomplished. It’s best to focus on facts, numbers and results to demonstrate your skills, experience and strengths.

2) Reformat

Modernise your layout or contact details as required to ensure you save as much space as possible. Choose a font that is easily read on screen and avoid outdated fonts such as Times New Roman or Comic Sans. Experiment with font sizes (smaller for company details, for example) but standardise your approach throughout your CV.  Limit bullet points to four or five in any one place and split up lengthy paragraphs. Paying significant attention to space-saving and make every word you use count – it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

3) Focus Above the Fold

“Above the fold” is described as the text that appears on a computer screen before a reader needs to scroll down. The top third area of a CV page is therefore prime space to hook a prospective employers attention and encourage them to read further, so don’t waste it. Many jobseekers waste this valuable space on headers containing contact information instead of focusing on a key-line summary of themselves and their achievements to fully engage with their viewer.

4) Proof read

It cannot be stated enough but take the time to proof read your CV before submitting and get someone else to proof on your behalf too. Every time you revise your CV, you risk adding a grammatical or formatting mistake to the document. The best way to show that you’re detail oriented and articulate is to have an error-free CV.

5) Update your online presence

Ensure your LinkedIn profile mirrors your CV – it’s often the first port of call for recruiters, headhunters or peers within the industry so it’s vital that your most current profile and achievements are available at any given point.