Need To Update Your CV And Don't Know Where To start? This ONE thing will fix it !


As a former headhunter, it always amazes me how many people don’t keep an up to date CV on file. I have worked across a broad range of sectors and areas of expertise and found this to be a common issue. It's no wonder, when managers and leaders are so busy working, how can they find time to plan out their own career? And that's part of the problem. So many people don't take the time to plan their career, opting instead to just wait and see what happens. And from experience, waiting for something to happen is not the best way to advance your career. Your career is the biggest indicator of your financial success and future financial security, so it's not something to be taken lightly. Add on the fact that many of us have established great friendships from our past and current colleagues and you begin to realise just how important your career is. Afterall we spend the majority of our waking day working, surely we should choose to do something that gives us a sense of achievement and purpose.

I hear it so often from people. I don't have an up to date CV Michelle, I haven't needed one until now. Well that's probably your first mistake. You should always be thinking you need an up to date CV, because you simply never know when you're going to need it. And if you’re working on projects or running a team that's doing 'something' interesting, it's easier to update your CV as you go, rather than trying to remember them in a few years’ time. Staying on top of your CV keeps your mindset focused on your career and the work you're doing. Is it adding value to your organisation? Is it adding value to your career? If not you have to rethink your approach and seek out projects that do add value. This will not only ensure that your boss sees you as someone who brings something to the workplace, it will also future proof your own career by helping you to stay relevant.

So now you know that you really need to update your CV but you have been putting it off, because frankly, it's not a terribly fun thing to do. It's going to take time and work and with so many distractions like Now TV and Netflix dropping new programmes every week to tempt us, it's hard to give your CV the priority it deserves. But the secret is that you've got to start and you've got to start somewhere. 

One simple hack that will make this so much easier for you is to schedule 20 minutes per day - no more and no less. Make an appointment with yourself in your calendar and put an alert that rings when it's time to get started. Former coaching clients and people I've headhunted have found this approach so simple to implement, yet very effective in terms of getting the job done. And you can too.

Try not to worry about the format, the font, the layout, how many pages - is two too little, but is three too much? Can I forget about four pages as no one will read it? None of this matters when you're starting. What you want to focus on is what it is you're going to say about yourself. And that's the hardest part. No one likes to talk about themselves, or if they do they're the type of people most of us don't like hanging around with. But when it comes to your CV and your career, if you're not blowing your own trumpet who is going to do it for you? It's about being authentic and truthful about who you are and what you have achieved. Own it and be proud. 

It's time to think

The key to success is taking the time to think in advance about who you are, what you've achieved and what you want the reader to feel when they're reading your CV. It's highly likely that you'll find the first few days a bit of a challenge, after all, who spends time thinking about their accomplishments and achievements? It sounds a bit indulgent. But it's essential for your CV to shine.  Spending time thinking will help you to remember those wonderful people you inspired or that great project you led. It will help you to recall the difference you made in your previous roles, no matter how trivial they might seem to you, those changes you made to improve a process, or the way you had of dealing with difficult clients, or the ease at which you influenced others to get behind a critical initiative. It's all important. 

Getting into a good habit of giving yourself 20 minutes, and only 20 minutes, per day, to work on your CV and in turn your career, will become so easy, it will seem like second nature to you. Soon you'll wonder why you never did it before.  And if this habit results in you getting a new role, where you can add even more value (and as we know when you add more value, you generate more economic value for yourself (i.e. hard cold cash) then we think it's a really good investment of your time.