Our mission is to provide practical tips, ideas and suggestions (and a little inspiration) to help you take charge of your career. And provide you with the skills to enjoy the results and the adventure along the way.
If you’ve made the decision to move on from your job and find your next role, one of the biggest challenges can be to update your CV. It’s important to get it right and ensure that your career history is relevant to any new positions that you’re going to apply for.
If you’re not sure where to start, or sigh at the thought of having to revisit your CV – don’t fear. Our advice will help you to update your CV and find your next role.
Do your research
Before pursuing your next role, always do your research on the jobs you’d like to apply for, to find out as much about the positions as possible.
This will not only benefit your CV, but also ensures that you’re well-informed and have thought about it carefully, as opposed making any impulsive decisions.
Whether it’s a similar or completely different industry, you can research the role through career sites, industry publications and by by speaking to people working in the industry. This first-hand knowledge can be extremely valuable.
This will enable you to know exactly what the job entails, what skills are required and how you can progress throughout. Vital information for updating your CV.
Research all areas of the role to gain an understanding of the challenges you may face. This will give you much better knowledge of the skills needed to exhibit in your CV to land a job interview.
Highlight any relevant skills and experience
When it comes to listing your skills and experience, only include information that supports your goals. Otherwise it will detract from the main focus of your CV.
If you show that you have the skills and attributes needed for the role, you’ll stand a better chance of landing an interview.
And if you’re lacking a few specific skills in the industry, then consider looking for examples that demonstrate transferable skills. For example, communication, organisation, management and leadership skills – these are valued in any industry.
Update your personal statement
Make sure that your personal statement or profile emphasises why you’re the perfect candidate for the role. This will sit at the top of your CV and should always be tailored towards the job you’re applying for.
Exhibit what you have to offer and highlight any achievements that are applicable to the industry. Just make sure you keep this short and concise. Anything longer than around four or five sentences can be off-putting.
Update your employment history
Highlighting your experience is crucial to landing your new role. Where possible, focus on your accomplishments or any other skills you’ve acquired which may help you in the position you’re applying for.
Don’t feel the need to reel off every job if it doesn’t emphasise any of the essential skills required. Instead, try to provide examples of when you met deadlines, hit targets and were recognised for doing a great job.
Add links and qualifications
There are always alternative ways to boost your CV’s appeal. Qualifications are always a great place to start. If you can, gain some relevant certificates or show that you’re working towards them. This will prove that you are dedicated to your career choice.
Adding links to your CV will also help modernise it and allow recruiters to view any additional work or your portfolio.
Ready to update your CV?
When updating your CV, remember to focus on key aspects that are applicable to the position and minimise anything that isn’t relevant.
Once you know the role and have assessed the industry, tailor your CV accordingly. Those that demonstrate the right skills and show a genuine interest in the company will stand out from the crowd and help you launch a new and prosperous career ahead.
Jack is a Content Marketing Executive at CV-Library. As a graduate of English literature and creator of Ramble on Records, he loves to write about a wide range of content and can be seen enjoying live music and festivals across the UK.
2020 is no longer the setting for sci-fi movies or so far on the horizon that planning for it seems to be in the dim, distant future.
It’s less than 18 months away people!
Just think – it was only 18 short months ago since Shape of You by Ed Sheeran was the number 1 single, pretty much everywhere in the world; Hidden Figures, Lion and La La Land were nominated in the Best Picture category for the 2017 Academy Awards; and two million people descended on Washington DC to participate in the Womens March.
Doesn’t seem that long ago does it?
And I’m guess that the next 18 months will fly by just as fast.
Which makes it a good time to stop, reflect and think about what you want for you and your career.
What were you doing career wise 18 months ago?
What did you hope to have achieved by now? Have you?
Where did you want to be working now?
Who did you want to be working for and with?
Have you achieved these goals? Are you they still what you want? Do you have actions in place to work towards these?
If not, don’t despair or beat yourself up.
Real life happens and gets in the way of the best laid plans.
The important thing is what you do now. And realizing that the benefit of hindsight (aka 20/20 vision) is that you can sometimes see so much more clearly what you should have done or could have done differently.
If you are not quite where you want to be now, is there anything you can pinpoint that you could have done, or should have done differently that would have got you closer to your goal?
File these reflections away as learnings and…
In 18 short months it will actually be 2020!!
The time to make a plan (and put it into action) is NOW.
These 5 simple steps will help you make your 2020 vision a reality:
1. Think about where you want to be in your career
Where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing? (All the questions you just looked back on)
2. Reflect on where you are now
No brooding at this stage! Assess where you are now and move on in your thinking.
3. Work out the difference between where you are now and what you want for your career in 2020
Write down the gap between now and then. This is your plan for what you are going to achieve.
4. Make a list of the actions you need to complete
What do you need to do to make your plan/goals/vision/dreams happen?
5. Do one thing every week that contributes towards your actions
There may only be 18 months until 2020 (actually less than that really) but there are plenty of weeks…75 from today as I am writing this.
Just imagine if you implemented over 70 actions (with a couple of weeks leeway for holidays) how much you could actually achieve!
The number of networking or mentor catch ups you could have, the people you could speak with, the courses you could attend, the jobs you could apply for…take action now and you will be so much closer to your 2020 vision!
It’s exciting to think about how much you can achieve. I’m excited for you.
It can be frustrating and upsetting to get turned down for a job you really wanted. You’re left wondering what you did wrong – was it your outfit? Something you said? Something you didn’t say? You replay the interview over and over again until you think you’ve got it figured out.
But there is an easier way to discover what went wrong; ask for feedback. When approached in the right way, the people who sat on the other side of the table can provide an abundance of insights into your performance, including pointers on how you can improve for next time. Sure, some of it might be hard to hear, but consider the learning opportunity you’ll be passing up by ignoring your mistakes.
While feedback for improvement is clearly a huge benefit in itself, it’s far from the only one. If the company or department you were hoping to work for recruits again in the future, they are more likely to remember the candidate who was willing to learn and grow than the one who wasn’t. Equally, by asking what prevented you from securing the job first time around, you put yourself in a great position for applying again. This could happen sooner than you think; one report by Harvard Business Review showed that 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months, meaning the job could reopen quickly.
How to get the most out of feedback.
So you’ve made the decision to ask for feedback so that you can improve your interview technique for next time.
Where do you start?
The first thing to remember is that interviewers are just people. They are just as concerned as the rest of us about hurting other people’s feelings or saying the wrong thing, and the thought of potentially further upsetting an already angry candidate could be enough to put them off responding to a feedback request honestly. They might even be worried about discrimination claims. The key is to tread gently – ask for feedback in a way that is constructive, non-threatening and clarifies your desire to learn. Take their lead on the delivery method – if they feel more comfortable talking to you over the phone, where they might feel more at liberty to express their views, be accommodating.
What questions should you ask?
Before you approach the interviewer, some self-assessment can come in handy. How do you think the interview went? Was there anything you would do differently given the chance to interview again? Answering these questions gives you the opportunity to look for discrepancies between your experience and the perceptions of the interviewer.
When approaching the interviewer, make sure you ask specific questions that will lead you to the information you need. “Why wasn’t I chosen for the role?” is too broad and could be perceived as confrontational. Instead, turn the tables and approach the conversation as if you are interviewing them. Direct the questions towards the future – how you could place yourself in a better position for next time – rather than focusing everything on the interview itself. Here are some great questions to get you started:
Were there any key qualifications or experiences that you felt were missing from my resume?
If this position were to reopen in the future, which skills do you suggest I would need to strengthen in order for you to consider my re-application?
What one thing could I change about my interviewing technique that would help me to improve my performance?
Rejection is a hard thing to swallow, and difficult to view in a positive light. But by reframing the situation as an opportunity for learning, it’s possible to gather insights into your performance that will allow you to ace your next interview.
Kate Jones writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse their graduate jobs London listings, visit the website.
Editors Note: This is not a sponsored post – thanks to the folks at Inspiring Interns for the helpful tips – Karen
A short and sweet blog this week but I think this cartoon says it all. If you want to do something, get selected for a particular team or be seen in a certain way…think about what you can do to make yourself the obvious choice!