Has your CV reached its expiry date?
All things need a re-vamp (look at the Spiderman franchise!) and keeping things relevant and up to date is key to showing your development …
The same applies for your CV.
Whilst you should always adapt your CV to every job you apply to, working out when you need to a total overhaul is not easy.
To help you figure out if yours is reaching its end of life, here are some of key clues:
You’re not getting interviews
You’ve spent hours applying for suitable roles, but you don’t hear anything back. Sound familiar?
As red flags go, they don’t come much clearer than this.
Whilst your first reaction may be to assume it’s because you’ve been deemed not right for the role, you might find that revisiting your CV is all it takes to turn your job hunt around.
After all, the CV the first thing a recruiter sees when reviewing applications, and most importantly, the primary deciding factor for whether you’re a good fit – so regularly refreshing it is definitely worth it.
Ask yourself: is my CV too long? Is the layout letting me down? Am I tailoring it to every job I apply to?
You could also be guilty of a number of other CV faux pas without even realising it; from overlooking common grammar mistakes to overusing clichés.
You’ve had it for a long time
If you’ve had the same CV for a while, you should consider its relevancy.
After all, it might’ve worked perfectly for the roles you were applying to seven years ago, and maybe it accurately represented your skills in the summer of 99’ – but does it still have the same effect years later?
Chances are, probably not.
Whether the layout is dated, your contact details are no longer accurate, or your skills are not relevant anymore, there are a number of aspects that could be in need of a refresh.
Remember: your CV doesn’t automatically match everything, it’s not always in fashion, and it will need tailoring to fit. It’s a job application, not your favourite denim jacket.
You’re changing careers
If you’re looking for work in a new industry, your CV needs to look the part.
This doesn’t simply mean writing a new personal statement in line with your career goals, it also means adapting the focus of your entire CV.
This could involve anything – from placing emphasis on your transferable skills and removing unrelated skills and experience, to adjusting the order of your CV and adding more detail to your most applicable attributes.
If in doubt, always use the job description as a guide.
Not only will it give you a rundown of the skills you need to demonstrate, it will cover the duties and responsibilities involved with the role – you will be providing proven examples of your ability to carry them out.
You’ve had a recent success
You’ve taken a course, earned the certificate, and got the ‘I love spreadsheets’ T-shirt.
You might have even started to apply your knowledge practically, which in turn is putting in the groundwork for future career progression. But have you told anyone yet?
We do get it; if you’re not actively searching for a role, adding your recent accomplishments to your CV might not be the first thing on your mind.
But not only could keeping your details up-to-date save you time in the long run, it could also open you up to roles you might not even know existed.
Whether it’s that your CV is on an online database or you feature it on social media – this is exactly where recruiters look when headhunting candidates. And your recent success could be just what they’re looking for.
Get a better job in exchange for a five second CV update? It’s a no-brainer.
You’re returning from a career break
You’re ready to enter the world of work after traveling/raising a family/insert other reason for a career break here. Now what?
First things first, you need to rewrite your CV.
To make sure your time out of work is perceived positively, it’s vital to not only explain the reason for the gap in your CV – but also to talk about the transferable skills you gained during your time out of work.
For example, you may have done some volunteer work while on a gap year, taken a course after a redundancy, or demonstrated a whole other host of skills through raising a family or looking after a family member.
Just remember: there is such a thing as TMI. Talking about how traveling taught you a flexible work ethic is great, but anything to do with stroking tigers is probably best left out.