How to keep your CV relevant

The nature of the workplace changes fast, and your CV needs to keep up with the pace. Here are a few tips for ensuring that your CV always remains top of the pile!

Never stop developing your skills
In the modern workplace, you can’t expect your initial skill set to remain relevant forever. Today, skill sets (especially in areas such as digital technology) can become obsolete in as little as five years, meaning that constant skills development is a must in order to stay relevant.

Your qualification is a solid foundation on your CV, but employers will also be looking for proof that you have developed a range of technical and soft skills that will add long-lasting value to the company. You should always be focused on updating your skills and learning new ones.

Prove your flexibility
Today’s employers greatly appreciate employees who are able to fulfil a variety of tasks and who aren’t restricted to one small niche. For example, a web developer who is only proficient in one programming language will not be as valuable as a developer who is able to work with several languages. Try to broaden your skills as much as possible. You could complete short courses, attend workshops, or take advantage of training opportunities offered by your current company.

Remember your soft skills too – employers are increasingly looking for these. List your relevant soft skills and highlight how you developed them.

Build your experience, with or without previous employment
A qualification is all good and well, but if you really want to be a strong candidate, then nothing looks better on a CV than experience. Employers would prefer to hire someone who has some hands-on knowledge of how to do the job, rather than spending time and money on training someone without any experience. Remember that experience can be built in a number of ways – you don’t necessarily have to have been employed to earn it. It might be a good idea to volunteer at a company within your chosen field for a few months. Although you won’t be earning any money, you’ll be able to list that much-sought-after experience on your CV.

Tailor your CV to the advertised job
It’s important to keep your CV relevant to the job being advertised – employers don’t have the time to read through a CV that lists irrelevant skills or experience. Tweak your CV so that it links directly to the advertised job and hiring company. Make sure that you show the hiring manager how your skills align with those called for in the advertisement, and how you could add benefit to the particular company. A well-crafted cover letter gives you a particularly good opportunity to do this.

Show that you’re aware of staying relevant
Your cover letter (or even the introduction to your CV) also gives you a chance to tell your potential employer that you realise the importance of staying relevant. In your cover letter, you can state that you are always eager to stay up to date with industry developments and to learn new skills. The fact that you’ve recognised this will impress the employer. Ideally, you should be able to support this in your CV with evidence of previous ways in which you’ve gone the extra mile to develop your skills, for example through listing short courses completed, workshops attended, or other learning opportunities used.

For more CV tips, read:

HOW TO WRITE A CV THAT WILL OUTSHINE THE COMPETITION
10 WORDS YOU SHOULD NEVER USE ON YOUR CV (OR LINKEDIN PROFILE)
HOW TO ENHANCE AN EMPTY CV