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The importance of keeping an up to date CV

The CV is a fundamental document that makes the difference between getting an interview or being put on the reject pile. Recruiters receive hundreds of CVs - making yours stand out is a skill that can be learned and dramatically improve your chances of being noticed at the start of the job application process.  A professional, up to date CV that highlights your experiences and qualifications is the most essential tool you need when hunting for a new job, therefore it is worth investing time and effort in getting it right.  Unfortunately, some candidates think that once they have a CV the same document can be used for all applications.  In truth, your generic CV is a starting point, a snapshot of your career history, but remember the reader will be a recruiter looking to help you find the right role, so you need to immediately gain their attention and summarise why you are a preferred candidate above others.  You stand a better chance of doing this successfully, if you tailor your CV for each job application.

Reasons to update your CV.

Change is inevitable. We are still in the middle of a pandemic – uncertain times for companies and individuals – nobody wants to think about downsizing or redundancies, but this is a possibility that no one is immune to and if the worst were to happen, having an up-to-date CV means you can jump straight in to looking for a new job without scrabbling around for details.

Seize the day. If you're happy in your role, and you're progressing, not immediately looking to change but then out of blue comes an unexpected offer that takes you by surprise, you'll be unprepared if you're not able to produce an up-to-date CV immediately. This could potentially mean the difference between a job offer and none.  These scenarios do and can happen even during times of economic uncertainty. Therefore, being prepared and ready, is the best course of action.

Talent spotting. If you're given the opportunity to demonstrate your skills by working on a project or something out of the ordinary from your daily duties, you'll need a CV to demonstrate why you're being considered for this extra piece of work.  A regular CV review ensures key accomplishments and experiences are included and the earlier out of date ones are superseded. This does not take long, and the best advice is to review and update your CV every 3 months.

Planned success. Even if your CV is never used to progress to a new position or firm, a regular review of your CV will give you the opportunity to focus on yourself - whether that's to reflect on if your career is going in the right direction, or whether you feel you could benefit from training or mentoring - a CV overhaul is the perfect opportunity to take stock of your career and take control of where you are heading.

In summary, your CV needs to showcase you and your experience in the best possible light; it is essential for successful, progressive career and sometimes life changes.  In the fast-paced job market, competition remains stiff, but give yourself the best chance of success by regularly brushing up your CV to accurately reflect your full range of talents.