How to refresh your CV throughout your marketing career
- 04 November 2022
In this article, CV-Library's career advice expert Ian Taylor reveals why updating your CV regularly is key, and the essential things you need to include to make your CV work for you.
Most of us do it. I know I do. And that is to only update your CV when you’re looking for a new job. Best practice is to keep your marketing-focused CV up-to-date throughout your career and on a regular basis. Why? Well, I’ll go through the reasons, with some tips and hints.
Why keep your CV up-to-date?
The simple reason is, that it’s easy to forget things to add if you only do update your CV when you’re looking to find a new position.
Remember, your CV shouldn’t just contain the jobs you have done or positions you have held, it should also contain the skills you have acquired, the courses you have attended and the experience you have gained.
If you only attempt to add these things once you are looking to move on, there’s a good chance you won’t remember them, or at least, not all of them.
Your CV should be concise, not pages and pages long (ideally two pages maximum) but at this stage, you could just add any new skills, experiences or roles you have performed since you were hired. You could just use it as a repository of information and tidy it up later.
Best practice, however, is to take the time to add the info ‘as it happens’ and edit it down into a concise record of your working life while it’s still fresh in your mind. 15-30 minutes and you’re done.
The more regularly you do it the less time it should take.
Five great reasons to keep your CV updated
1 - Speed
This could be for bad reasons (you lose your job, get made redundant or get sacked) but it could also be for a good reason – your dream job comes up and you can fire your CV in quickly and get ahead of the pack!
2 – Keep on top of your career
Sometimes you can't tell how far you've come until you actually stop and write it all down.
If you update your CV as you progress through your marketing career, you'll be able to tell right away how much progress you've made.
3 – Recognise your own abilities
Regularly acknowledging your key accomplishments and skills can be a great confidence builder and may inspire you to work hard for a promotion at your current job.
4 – Identify areas for improvement
Again, by taking regular stock of your current areas of expertise and noting any gaps in your knowledge, training, or experience, you'll be able to determine where you need to improve.
5 – Showcase your skills
During your time working, you'll pick up new skills and hone those you already have. As a result, it's critical to keep track of these and make sure your CV is updated with your key competencies.
Things to add to your CV on a regular basis
Did you become a team leader, for example? Or perhaps you were promoted from a Marketing Executive to a Marketing Manager? These things must be added to your CV, along with the date, new responsibilities or skills acquired as a result.
Perhaps you attended a course specific to the industry you work in, or gained a CIM qualification - either way, it should be added to your CV with some details - the name of the course or qualification, what it was about, what you learned, and what qualification you received, if any.
Did you mastermind a successful marketing campaign? What was it? What was the goal, and what was the outcome? You may not have been the mastermind, but a team member that helped ensure its success. Again, this should be added to your CV.
These are the things that you need to be talking about at your next interview for a marketing position.
Unusual hobbies or interests
Listing hobbies or interests such as walking, reading or cycling doesn't help your job application, but if you have unusual hobbies or interests, particularly those that provide relevant skills or experience should be added.
If you don't have any relevant or unusual hobbies, this section can be excluded from your CV.
How to make sure you update your CV regularly
It’s easy to put off keeping your CV up-to-date, as it doesn’t seem important, not at the time anyway. So, you either do it as things change – but you’re still likely to keep putting it off.
So, I recommend scheduling some time in your calendar every month to update and check your CV, to make sure it’s as good as it can be.
Of course, it’s easy to put this off too, but a regular reminder to spend just 15 minutes updating your CV, should help you to get it done!
Top Tips for updating your CV
- Do it regularly
- Think about how the information can be used in an interview
- Think about making it attractive to ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems)
- Proofread it after any changes
- Proofread it again
Naturally, you'll need to tailor your CV for each job you apply for. So, it might be beneficial to keep track of your major accomplishments in another document or ‘bank of achievements and skills’ so you can add the most pertinent ones to your CV for each job application.
In either case, keeping your CV current by updating it on a regular basis will make sure you don't pass up any excellent opportunities.
All that remains is to wish you luck in your ongoing, hopefully extra-organised, marketing career.
If you’re looking for support throughout every stage of your marketing career, visit our CIM Membership page and discover the wealth of resources at your fingertips. Including, access to the MyDevelopment hub, the CIM Mentoring programme, member-exclusive content, and much more.
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