As a well-networked recruitment specialist agency, we get to see a lot of CVs. And they come in all shapes and sizes; some well-designed, some not; some across multiple pages, and others condensed into just a single page. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that works and the suitability of your CV will depend on your skills, experience, and sector.
However, the surest way to derail your chances of landing an interview (or a call from an interested recruiter), is by having an outdated CV. With the proliferation of job boards and CV databases, recruiters now have access to a wide range of candidates – so ensuring you can stand out as a jobseeker is more important than ever.
Showcase new skills
As you gain work experience and develop new skills, update your CV frequently to reflect them. Highlighting the latest additions to your professional repertoire shows you’re staying relevant in your field. Whether it’s a new certification, technical ability, leadership role or other competency, flaunt your progress.
It helps if you update your CV on a regular basis too, because not only are you ready to share your CV should an opportunity arise, but it’s just easier than trying to recall particular aspects of your role many months or years later.
Update your responsibilities
As your role evolves in your current business and you take on additional responsibilities, it’s worth reflecting this on your CV, particularly if it’s going to help you with your job search. As with the skills update suggestion earlier, doing this as your role grows, in an iterative process will mean it’s less of an onerous job when it needs doing.
Update your achievements
Many candidate CVs are really strong on detailing their skills and responsibilities, but then fail to really promote their achievements. Hiring managers, clients, and recruiters are keen to understand the impact you’ve had in your role. What was the difference that you made at your company? What did you achieve? What was the commercial impact you had?
Think about this in terms of future employers, as they’ll potentially be looking for skilled employees that can do what you’ve done at your existing or previous companies – so rather than relying on them interpreting your responsibilities and guessing what you may have achieved, be explicit. State what you’ve done and the impact you’ve had. If you can back this up with demonstrable numbers too, to substantiate what you’re saying, then do this as well.
As with updating skills and responsibilities, don’t leave this all until the moment you actually need your CV. Updating your CV can be a difficult and time-consuming task, particularly if a recruiter contacts you while you’re at work asking for an up to date CV, and can result in precious lost time that you need to spend recalling what you’ve done and then updating your CV.
Update on job boards
Once you’ve updated your CV, don’t forget to share it everywhere that you’ve previously registered – whether that’s job boards or with selected recruitment partners. An updated CV can also trigger a new round of interest from hiring managers or recruiters, as it’s often a good indication that someone is actively looking for a new role.
Tailor to each opportunity
This is something lots of people advise but in reality few people practice. If you’ve got a packed CV with lots of examples of skills, experience, responsibilities and achievements, then tailoring it to highlight those examples which are most relevant to the role you’re interested in, can be really beneficial.
So, our advice is to regularly do a little CV maintenance – perhaps once a quarter, and make sure you keep on top of the little changes, additional responsibilities, experiences and skills gained, and the impact or achievements you rack up in your roles. Get them in to your CV and you’ll be much better prepared when you want to make your next career move.