6 reasons to keep your CV updated.
Before we know it, Christmas will be over and people’s attentions will be focused on 2015. Traditionally this time of year is not only for celebration, but also for reflection. This often leads to a mental review of our careers - how has our year been? What have we delivered and of course, where is it going? For many of us it is a time to think about changing position and with that, the need to dust off the CV. For some this may be a quick update from last year’s document but for others it may be the first they have written in 20 years.
Updating, writing or re-writing your CV from scratch is a task that can take hours to complete and can be challenging as you try and remember your achievements, development and journey. The easiest way to avoid this situation is to make sure you update your CV on an on-going basis, but why take the time and effort?
Be Ready - However content you are in your role, you never quite know what is around the corner. I wonder how many of the Phones 4U people saw that situation occurring? Insolvencies, redundancies and changes in personal circumstances are often unforeseen. Being ready and having a CV in such situations can clearly give you an advantage over others. It is always best to be prepared.
Dream job – Similarly, albeit on a more positive note, you never know when you may be approached or see your dream role advertised. You may be travelling on business with no way of writing a CV before the deadline and may miss out – how frustrating. Having an up to date CV allows you to react to approaches and adverts with speed, without compromising the quality of your application or the chances of securing the position.
Keep the version with agencies updated – Agencies are clearly a great source of job opportunities, but whether they call you and the opportunities they brief you on will largely be determined by the information they hold on record. If you have taken the time to keep the document updated then it is advisable to share this with the agencies you have relationships with. This will ensure that, even when you are not actively looking, you will be considered for relevant roles and hopefully only called about roles that are relevant.
Internal use – In many companies internal opportunities often involve a selection process. This may involve written applications, a CV or just an interview. Either way if you have taken the time to keep your CV updated you can use it as the basis to apply or at the very least to refresh your memory around what and how you have delivered and better prepare yourself for an interview.
Personal Development – it is very difficult to retain over time all the achievements, projects etc. that you have delivered in your various roles. It is also easy to lose sight of your personal development during this time and how you have worked to improve yourself and your effectiveness. This is a very popular area that is probed and discussed at interview and so keeping this updated and recorded as part of your CV, should help you be better prepared. This can also help focus you on your strengths and weaknesses improving your awareness of where you need to develop.
Appraisals – the vast majority of organisations have an appraisal scheme but individuals will be appraised at varying timescales. Making notes and regularly updating your CV will again give you a strong reference point when it comes to prepare for this process.
These factors are not just about your CV but also your LinkedIn profile. Everything that I have talked about above can equally be applied to LinkedIn, indeed if not more so. With your CV you arguably have full control over who views it. Depending on your settings, LinkedIn is much more accessible to the wider market and therefore may have a larger impact on your job search, particularly when you are not actively looking. I do accept that you need to be sensitive with the public information that you are providing but you can still outline your role and responsibilities and what you have a achieved.
However, the reality is it is not easy to remember or indeed to find the time to regularly update your CV every couple of months. So if you do find it difficult to have the discipline to keep your CV updated on an ongoing basis, and I do understand that, at the very least I would set up a file to store and record relevant information. This could be relevant to your role, training courses you have attended, dates of promotions, projects you have delivered etc. Having this information to hand in one place will certainly make life easier when you do sit down to update your CV.
Spending the time and effort will pay off in the long run and in my opinion deliver you a more credible, accurate and stronger CV.
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