It might be your most valuable job hunting asset, but sometimes CVs can be your biggest headache too.
It's a matter of days before the annual January job rush ensues, when New Year's Resolutions and added goals for the year ahead mean everyone dusts off their CV and starts applying for the same positions.
While there are timeless pieces of advice you can take, such as remembering to cut the fat and avoiding cringey business jargon at all costs, here are the most valuable CV tips we learned in 2016 that might help you land a better role in 2017.
1. Managed, delivered and improved: Some verbs are better than others
When it comes to detailing your employment history, think wisely about the language you use. Verbs such as: managed, delivered, improved, reduced and planned are seen the most favourably, according to CV writing service StandoutCV.
Read more: 13 verbs employers want to see on your CV
2. Remember to list your volunteering experience
Thousands of British job applicants are limiting their work prospects by failing to mention volunteering experience on their CV, according to jobsite Indeed.
More than half (54 per cent) of job applicants in the UK have carried out some form of voluntary work, yet only eight per cent mention on their CV – with 64 per cent of employers valuing volunteer work in a candidate, don't forget to add yours in.
3. Languages, social media, creative hobbies and sports
If you're looking to add colour into your CV, these are four of the crucial extra-curricular boosts that can help pimp your curriculum vitae.
Where languages are concerned, learning a second language not only helps level-up and re-wire your brain, but perhaps more importantly, it gives you a unique insight into a foreign culture.
When it comes to hobbies, sports teams tick all of the hiring manager’s boxes: you’re a team player, you’re dedicated, you’re competitive.
If you're not doing one of these four already, maybe now's the time to pick up a new activity or skill along the way.
4. Appease our robot overlords
They may not have taken over fully yet, but when it comes to the job market, robot recruiters are already out there scanning your CVs for keywords and the like – and there are more of them on the way.
Personal marketing, optimised social media accounts and thorough interview prep are among the key ways to stay ahead when disintermediation is part of the recruitment process.
5. Accountants: qualifications may mean less than you think
After all that training, accountants can take a breather. Those looking to hire finance professionals are ten times more likely to review the skills and experience section first before moving onto education and qualifications, according to research by recruiter Robert Half.
This suggests would-be employees would fare better by focusing more on the former and less on the latter.
6. Don't fret about how interesting your personal interests sound
Yes, we realise we've just told you that sports, languages and hobbies can help you stand out. But hobbies and interests really won't give you that much of a leg-up.
Ultimately, don't invest too much in the "personal interests" section of your CV, as less than half of recruiters say it's an important part of your application. If it's an area you've been fretting over, rest assured you can live without it, though if you have something to add, all the better – so long as it's not taking up space that could be spent on core work-related attributes.