Here are six things you can do to polish your CV ahead of the New Year job application rush

Francesca Washtell
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Maybe don't bombard unsuspecting employers with your CV when you first meet them (Source: Getty)

It happens every January: a slew of people kicking off the New Year by deciding they'd like a new job. Cue the annual job hunt dash and CV scramble.

If you're reorganising your life (not forgetting your inbox) in the run-up to the New Year, use this time to get ahead with your primary job hunting currency, your CV.

Assuming you've got the basics such as your education, last few workplaces, skills and contact details on the page, you're off to a good start.

But if yours needs a more comprehensive dusting-off and updating, start by focusing on these six areas.

1. Ditch the jargon

Are you really a "change management enabler" or are you actually just a management consultant? We all know the stuffy, inflated language our superiors and companies like to put on things, but don't be taken in by it.

Read more: 13 verbs employers want to see on your CV

If you're trying to explain something complex in your CV, imagine describing it out loud to a friend – without getting too informal and conversational, it will be a simpler explanation than one you would have written.

Hint: the major business word of 2017 is set to be "pivot". Avoid using it at all costs...

2. Trim, trim, trim

Go for quality, not quantity on your CV. Even if you're a millennial, do you really still need your A-Level results in the education section? Could you lump certain skills together thematically?

Read more: Your CV is probably missing this killer piece of information

Not everything on your CV is going to warrant a full sentence and some points can be dropped entirely. Things to keep include: driving licence, computer-based skills, anything that would leave a big gap in your CV if it was taken out.

3. Choose your hobbies carefully

Yes, maybe you went horse riding when you were little. And maybe you want to join a book group or go swimming more regularly. But don't include hobbies just because they sound good or you want to do them in future.

Read more: Four extra-curricular career boosters to make your CV stand out

Pick out a couple of things you genuinely like or are competent at. Making it an aspirational list means you could be caught out down the line and are wasting valuable space you could be using to describe your expertise in Excel.

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How often do you actually go to yoga, though? (Source: Getty)

4. Spellcheck

​It cannot be emphasised enough: spellcheck. Typos are a huge no-no. Grammar and spelling won't necessarily get you ahead if you get them right - but they will send your CV to the bottom of the pile if you get them wrong.

5. Don't forget LinkedIn

​Lots of people neglect LinkedIn. Don't be one of them. The key benefits are that it's an online version of your CV but can be longer (though don't pad out too much, brevity is still important) and former employees/colleagues can write stellar recommendations about you.

Read more: It’s too easy to get away with an exaggerated CV

If you have a couple of hearty recommendations and have used the online padding-out space wisely, just remember to fine-tune your picture as well. This isn't Facebook, so no wine glass-holding pictures or selfies allowed.

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Yes, you can write more online, but go for quality not quantity still (Source: Getty)

6. Don't keep it to yourself, pop it on jobsites

​Now you've polished your CV, turning it into the shiniest possible version of itself, don't keep it locked away in your My Documents folder.

Read more: Accountants: Here's how to make your CV stand out

Posting your CV to a jobsite is a great way to keep passively searching for jobs that won't require much from you once you've done the initial upload. Reed, Monster, CV Library and the like could turn up something unexpected that you wouldn't have known to look for, or you can hunt down sites that cater for your specific industry.

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