Job searching has never been a child’s play. You send out all the relevant documents to the prospective employer, get invited to interviews but still you don’t land that dream job.
Well maybe it is the right time that you took a closer and critical look at your CV. Remember that this is a document which introduces you to the potential employer and you cannot take chances with it. You got to give it your all and use it to create a significant first and lasting impression in the mind of the potential future employer(s).
One commandment of successful job hunting is to ensure your CV is updated or as current as today. Whether in good or bad times, whether in active employment or not,, you must ensure that this document is constantly and consistently updated. Failure to adhere to this could jeopardize you job search efforts leading to lots of frustration and a possible career crash.
I would like to share with you six (6) key areas that you need to look into as you update your CV in readiness to applying for the next available job posted on The Platform101 Job board.
1. Personal details
This is key in your CV since it points to who you are and possibly where you are. In order to easily be contacted ensure that your CV has your most current and reachable contact details. This should include the phone numbers (both landline and mobile), and the latest postal address details (if you are still using the post office box).
With the influx of mobile service providers most persons have more than one mobile contact numbers. Just in case you are one of these then ensure that you have all this numbers appearing on our CV. You just never know when the potential future employer will be calling to invite you for the interview.
In case you are applying for an international job always remember to update your phone numbers by including the relevant international dialing codes for your country such as +254 for Kenya. This contact detail updates should be reflected in all your job documents you are sending out for job applications.
2. Your references
I once interviewed a candidate who had indicated as a referee an individual I personally knew. Unfortunately the said referee had passed on four months prior to our interview. I picked this out while perusing her CV.
Such outdated information reflects negatively on you as a job seeker.
Make it a habit not to have too old referees on your CV by including details of two persons from your most current work place or learning institution. The third could be from your previous employment.
CAUTION; Ensure you know your referees well and always inform them well in advance of your intentions to consider them for the role in your CV. You need to get their consent for a positive outcome. NEVER let your referee be caught by surprise.
3. Your current position
You should save you CV from being a dinosaur by including your current job and any role changes that are worth noting. Ensure that you include your most recent job title, as well as outstanding accomplishments you achieve in the said role.
In case you have been assigned additional responsibility in your current job or some delegated roles and authority, then mention it in your CV citing the dates especially for the project based assignment.
Never make the mistake of sending out you CV without mentioning your current roles since this might be the competitive edge you need over all other applicants.
4. Further training and education
As soon as you achieve a professional certification or a relevant training then transfer the same information in your CV. The more often you can prove you have continuously acquired additional knowledge, the better your chances of getting a job.
If in the course of applying for the job you are still pursuing a course, then it is worth mentioning it in the CV as an ongoing pursuit.
Have you attended a language class and are now proficient in some foreign tongue, or you probably acquired some new IT skills. Reflect all this in your CV as well.
This cuts out an image forward looking and development conscious individual. All visionary employers want such employees in their teams.
5. Newly acquired transferable skills
Could you have attended a voluntary exercise, part time job, casual job, an internship program or some vacation related work, then make mention in your CV about the transferable skills acquired demonstrating how relevant they are to the role in question.
6. Interests and hobbies
Have you acquired and developed new interests in your free time? You can include anything that is relevant to the job: hobbies, interests or volunteer work.
This is a positive sign to prospective employers that you have a good work-life balance and that you know how to meaningfully utilize your time.
Fail to update your CV with this details at your own peril.
Avoid the use of generic CV what I call the “copy and paste CV syndrome” which literally translates to a “one CV fits all job applications”. This is a sure recipe for Job search failure.
Always keep in mind that updating/tailoring your CV is a necessary step to landing an interview and ultimately a job. Avoid falling into the trap of having a dinosaurous CV.