Career & Legal Advice

Why it’s important to update your CV – even if you’re not looking for a job

Do you sometimes ask yourself why a CV is so important? You may think your boss can work out what you can do and how you add value to the company based on your work history. In practice, this is not the case. Your CV is one of the most important elements of your career, whether you are seeking a job or not.

Your CV reflects what you have learned from your career up to now. If you are seeking a job, it is your future employer’s only chance of comparing your qualifications with their requirements. It is therefore important that you make an effort to show what you are capable of. The process is much easier if you update your CV regularly.

But, even if you have no plans to apply for a new job, it is still important to have an updated CV. It is where you collect the full overview of your profile, your skills and your qualifications.

“Regard your CV as your detailed external memory, which helps you remember everything you’ve accomplished and learned. It can be of great help the next time you’re due for a personal development review or salary negotiation or when the interesting projects are being shared out,” says Lise Dan, career adviser at IDA.

The Result-oriented CV

Your CV must have impact and be targeted to the job you are applying for to ensure that your relevant qualifications come to the fore.

You should give examples of what you have contributed – to indicate what you will be able to contribute in the future. Be result-oriented and show that you are able to make a difference. Have you acted as a liaison in a team or had success with a relevant project? Or is there something else you wish to highlight?

“Your results are examples of how you’ve contributed to your former workplace and how you’ve handled projects. This gives an indication of the qualifications you’ve built up,” says Lise Dan.

In other words, your CV is key, and it is important to update your CV regularly. If you don't, it is easy to forget important details and an employer – whether current or future – won’t have a full picture of your skills and your next career step.
This overview is also essential when you are job seeking and need to match your CV to a job advertisement and the qualifications required.

Do you need to write a CV? Log into and use IDA’s new CV Assistant. This gives you online advice on filling out the individual elements of your CV. It provides you with inspiration for constructing the CV and explains what you should write in each section.

Get past the hr manager’s gatekeeper with the right keywords

More and more companies are using software for the recruitment process. The software screens your CV, checking for the keywords in the job advertisement. If you don't have at least 75% of the keywords in your CV, you will already be screened out at this step – before the HR manager even begins to read through the applications.

“Lots of applicants are screened out in the first round because they aren’t aware of the HR manager’s software and its gatekeeper. This is a shame and can easily be avoided by ensuring that your CV is more dynamic,” explains Lise Dan, career adviser at IDA.

According to Lise Dan, the best way of keeping your CV dynamic is to update it at regular intervals. This will ensure that you always have a valuable overview of your results and skills, and it will make it easier to match your CV to a specific job advert.