Dusting off an old CV

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 - career change, CV Writing, CV Writing Service, job hunting


Dusting off an old CV

When new job seekers presently come to the market and start a job search, most of them think that employment is easy:

  1. Get old CV, and update
  2. Go to jobs boards, apply
  3. Get employed!

Now, except for the fact that i the western world we have some of the highest unemployment figures since the 1930’s, that is a great theory.

Except for the first step: dusting off an old CV. If only it were that easy.

The CV versus a bottle of wine theory

The grand theory with a bottle of wine, is that how ever bad it is, if you lay it down in a cold dark room for long enough, it will become good. As any trained sommelier will tell you, there are limits!

However, the wine theory never wors for CV’s. The longer you lay them down, the older and dustier they get, and hence the more out of date. For instance:

  • In 2001, 90% of job applicantions were sent by post; by 2010, 90% were sent via the internet
  • Did social media exist 10 years ago? Barely…
  • Do customers and suppliers interact with companies now as they did 10 years ago? Even tendering processes now are all online
  • 10years ago, knowing how to operate Microsoft suite might have give you an edge. Now, like reading and writing, its a given

Old position, new aspiration

The problem for the old CV is that it projects skill that were required then. Now, its just a historic record of what you wanted to do then.

That is the second problem with the old CV. Back then when it was last used, you wanted to do JobA – an X position in a Y market. Now with some additional skills, qualifications and experience, do you want to be doing the same thing again? No, you want to do something else, JobB.

Positioning is key in modern job application, and that old CV positions you with old skills towards an old and in the past aspiration.

Just add the extra information, and Click to Apply?

So, all you need to do to update the old CV and create a new one is simply:

  • Add any new positions
  • Fill in the SQE
  • Reposition yourself
  • Edit for timeline focus

But really what you are saying there, is that you need a new Professional CV!

How to dust off your old CV

Let me tell you how I manage my CV. Firstly, I have two CV’s:

  • The complete timeline: this CV takes the long paragraph that I wrote when that was my current position for each job, and places them in reverse chronological order. It presently runs to about six sheeets of paper. There is also a complete list of academic qualifications, inclduing grades, that runs to an additional two sheets. This is what the American’s would call my Curriculum Vitae, my complete employment history
  • The current CV: I then have a current CV. This is a two-page “focused on the present and what I want to do next” version, like that provided by our Professional CV Service

On a six-monthly basis, I:

  1. Assess where I am and where I want to be next
  2. Archive the current position to the Curriculum Vitae
  3. Rewrite the currentposition on the current CV to reflect the new focus
  4. Rewrite the Personal Statement to reflect the new focus

In all, with Step1 taking a few days, steps 2 to 4 can be completed in less than a few hours after some editing. The reason that it takes so little time is that:

  1. I know and assess what I want to do next
  2. I have a system

Hence. much as though you may be able to learn the system, its the parts built into the 5 Steps To Employment system that make the process quick, efficent and most importantly for the job seeker, effective.

Here is a typical “Dusting off the old CV” question from a job seeker…

How do I dust off my old CV and make it shine?

James, a job seeker, asks: I’ll be honest, that my current CV is based off a CV Template UK from a career development class in university 10 years ago, and hasn’t really been touched since receiving my current position on graduation. I would like to pull out the old thing and polish it up, but where do I start? What does a “stand out” Professional CV look like today in the marketing world?
In Answer:
First question James: what is it that you want to do next? I guess that its something in the Marketing environment, but what exactly?

Secondly, have you tested the employment market? Are there 50 jobs out there (at minimum, at least 20), on various job boards and forums? Are these within your defined job selection criteria, ie: geography, money/package, position/title?

If yes, then so much has changed in the world of employment in the past 10 years, that rather than a polish you are looking at a complete Professional CV Rewrite, over a simple polish. At minimum, the timeline will be out of date, and in 10 years your career and hence aspirations will have developed on greatly from that of a University graduate.

Initially, assess the first two of the 5 Steps To Employment, then look at getting a new CV written by a Professional CV Writing Service.

Good Luck!

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