Timing Issues: When was the last time that you upgraded your CV?
Here are some indicators that it may be time to upgrade your CV, tedious as it might be.
- This Year’s Successes: It is the end of the year and your current CV does not contain the notable achievements that you have made in the last twelve months. This might include hitting your targets, successful initiatives or indeed passing exams and earning new qualifications.
- Outdated: Your CV has not been upgraded for so long that it could not be sent to anyone with a substantial and time-consuming overhaul. Like some other things in life, when you need it, you need it now! It will pay dividends to be prepared and have it in a ready-to-go state or at least something that will only take an hour or so to polish.
- The Ultimate Sales Tool: If you have decided to proactively promote yourself in the job market, your CV will be an essential tool. It may be that your career progression has reached an impasse, or perhaps you no longer believe in the management team, or the firm’s direction. Equally, it could be that the business model has been outpaced by changes in technology or the regulatory environment. Either way, you have decided that it is time to move on.
Keywords: In order for the computer search tool or the human being reading and filtering your CV to shortlist you, it needs to be packed with keywords that match the search / job description criteria. If your CV is ‘relevant-keyword-light’, both it and you will be passed by.
Consistent message: Your message to the job market will lack power, punch and credibility if your CV says one thing and your LinkedIn Profile another. They must match and express a clear, coherent and compelling promise of the value that you can add - your personal brand, if you like.
Format & Structure: The CVs that we receive before we get to work are often impenetrable. Our client has been told to keep it to two pages and the solution was to cram in as much as possible for fear of leaving anything out. When that wasn’t quite enough, clients have often reduced the font to size “I can’t read that”. The result is dense text in tiny font, which few will bother to read. We sometimes have the opposite from our clients, where there is too much of white space, thin text and nothing really said. The solution is to use space well and edit the text in such away that your message is readable, relevant and convincing, and never less that a size 11 font.
Pertinent: Your CV is your professional sales document; it is not an exhaustively, complete documentation of your career history. It needs to edited as such. It must be factual and scrupulously honest, and written in a way that the reader will instantly see why you have the skills, attributes and track record of success that they are looking for. Minimise or trim anything that does not support that message.
If you feel that any of the above applies to you and your CV, then it might be wise to find time between boxsets during the Christmas Holidays to upgrade your CV, or indeed, get a professional to do it for you.