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How to Make CV Updates Easier


How to Make CV Updates Easier

How to make CV updates easier

One of the reasons it’s difficult to update your resume is because you tend to forget what you have accomplished on a day to day basis as time passes.

The trick is to write things down now, so that making updates to job descriptions on your CV is easy later on. Here’s what you need to know.

What Should You Track?

Since you are not going back and forth updating your CV every time you have something new to add to it, be expansive in what you log. Here are some things to track:

  • New skills: If you attend classes or workshops, note it down. Training sessions at work are also worth noting. Did you learn a new software program? Make sure to log it.
  • Awards and praise: Did you win salesperson of the year or get acknowledged by an outside group? Write down the date and substance of accolades and compliments.
  • Projects and tasks: Think of this as the day-to-day. Write down at least the what (“budget analysis for year-over-year projections”), and consider including how you accomplished a task, from obstacles to successes. As well as being helpful when you update your CV, this can be valuable as you think through answers to common interview questions.
  • Interactions with co-workers, managers, and people you supervise: If you manage people yourself, you’ll definitely want to include that on your resume. Other interactions with colleagues can be left out but can still be quite helpful during interviews if you're asked questions about teamwork.
  • Accomplishments and results: Whether it’s organizing an event, exceeding a sales quota, closing a deal, or saving money, write down the big things you get done at work. Include as many specific, quantifiable details as possible, so you won’t have to go into your email archive later for the information.

How to Track Your Work

Here are some ideas for where to write down information:

  • Draft email or document: Keep a running log in a draft email or a word processing document.
  • Journal: Try using the notes app on your phone or, perhaps you want to track your work using old fashioned pen and paper. If so, try using a small notepad that you keep specifically for jotting down accomplishments to add to your CV.
  • Voice recorder: If writing’s a chore, you could use the voice recorder on your phone to track your work. (Note: This might be easy at the time, but potentially harder when updating your resume, since it’s difficult to skim through recordings.)
  • Draft of your resume: Create a version of your resume where you add informal bullet points as things happen. When you’re ready to update your resume, the information will already be there — you’ll just need to pad out the bullet points.
  • Digital folder: Consider keeping a folder where you save emails, performance evaluations, and other documents that provide helpful background.

Wherever you track your work, make sure it’ll be accessible even if you lose your ability to log-in to your work computer. So, if it’s a draft email, save it in your personal email account, not your work one. And put your digital folder in the cloud, not on your work computer desktop.

Timing is also critical here.

While it’s good to track events when they happen, that may not always be feasible. Consider setting a quarterly (or monthly or weekly) reminder to jot down some notes.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Jot down notes as often as you can, with as much detail as you can. A typo-ridden sentence that doesn’t contain the full picture (but will jog your brain later when you’re updating your resume) is better than nothing. Even if your notes are fragmented or sporadic, they’ll be helpful down the line.


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