A Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Resume can serve you even if you’re not looking for a job

So, when was the last time you looked at your CV (or resume in the US)?  What is the purpose of this document, to you?

Statistics say that unless you are in the job market it is likely that you have not updated your CV in the last year.  If you’ve updated it in the last six months then you are a rare and special breed.

So, (I can hear you ask) “what can a CV do for me if I’m not looking for a job?”

The Answer, up front

A CV is powerful tool for you as well as others, whether you own a business, are in employment or are seeking employment.

The journey to insight

I’m a firm believer in the premise that a job interview is a two-way process.  Too many people dis-empower themselves and put their fate into the hands of sometimes ill-equipped and poorly trained interviewers. 

Seriously, think about it

“accepting a full-time role or job is one of THE most significant decisions of your life”

It’s up there with marriage, mortgages and religion (faith). 

If you’re in business for yourself then you’ll know that the decision to be ‘the boss’ is a life-changing decision that requires a close look at the qualifications, character and aspirations of your new employee…… (that would be YOU)

Interviewing goes both ways.  You are interested in working for them (or yourself). They want the best person they can get with the skills, experience and qualifications within that they can afford to pay. BOTH parties want someone who accepts and will act in line with the visions and values of the organisation.
Here are a few thoughts for your consideration

1.  If you own a business

Your first interview and annual appraisal of you should be completed by you.  A CV is a great start.  The process of reflecting on where you are, where you have been and where you want to go takes on a whole new power when it is written down. 

It can also serve as a real confidence booster when seen in a positive frame of mind.  You see how much you have achieved, what you have been through and identify the skills, resources and people who helped you.

There’s also the reality that your personal credentials play a vital part in the ability of your company or organisation to break into new areas and even get additional credit.

2.  If you are already in employment

Building your CV as you go is a great way to catalogue various activities, challenges and accomplishments that you would easily overlook if you sat down to write a CV two years after being in the position.  Using your CV as an outline or journal will also serve you as a way to realise all of the small things that you do (or can do) to create more value within your organisation.  Having clearly documented information like this can be useful in

  • best case – applying for a promotion, a new role, a raise or a new job
  • worse case – a performance evaluation, tribunal or to dispute a poor annual appraisal or performance based bonus assessment

No matter what your role, it makes a difference to know that YOU KNOW that you are good at it and where you are going

Additionally, it’s a POWERFUL thing to interview for other opportunities while you are still employed.  You’ll

  • keep your ‘interviewing muscles’ strong
  • be SO much more relaxed
  • be able to have a better two-way interview than if you’re feeling the pressure of needing their approval or the job.

If, or when, you get the offer…. what a great problem to have! If you stay, you can walk with your head held high and overcome the challenges and politics of the situation thinking to yourself “I CHOOSE to be here, so I’m going to get past this problem” because you know that you really did and still do have a choice.

3.  If you are looking for employment

This is where a CV has even MORE power… for you.  This is a great opportunity to take a good close look at where you’ve been, what you’ve achieved and where you want to be.  Using this OPPORTUNITY to look at everything you’ve done (really, every job, every role, every activity, every organisation) can be empowering when approached from a positive frame of mind.  If doing it from that perspective is a challenge, then see the end of the blog for tips and resources to help you through this.

A fully comprehensive CV, a profile test and a good session with a coach, career counselor or good recruitment agent can serve to position you to get the role you really want. 

This may even be a long overdue change of direction away from what you’ve done toward what you desire. It’s a wonderful feeling to do what you love AND meet your responsibilities.

I say all of that to say this….

Taking a personal inventory on the course of your life (the translation of the words Curriculum Vitae) and writing it down is one of the most empowering activities that you can invest your time to do.

It’s up there with the other forms of written goal setting that the people who are in the top 5% of the wealthy have done and continue to do.

A comprehensive, fully detailed CV that is regularly updated is THE best source for making a tailored, succinct document to be used in a specific situation.  It also is a great ‘back pocket’ document if you are asked for more details.

When approached with a positive mind-set using methodologies and strategies used by well-trained and experienced coaches, career counselors, mentors and recruitment agents, your CV can be a tool to plot and adjust the course of YOUR life.

Puzzle me this puzzle me that….

Do you have a comprehensive CV that reflects all of your skills and experiences? If you do, review it and reflect on you accomplishments then ask yourself, “What can I do to create more value for myself and/or my organisation with the skills and experience I already have?”  If you don’t have a comprehensive CV start building one right now and then

  1. Build it as you go
  2. Capture the details
  3. Review it
  4. Interview at least once per year (even if it’s with an agency)
  5. Take inventory in the key value areas
  6. Ask yourself the questions:
  • “What does THIS do to get me closer to my goal”
  • “If I stay on the current course, is my destination a place of fulfillment?”

Although your CV thus far is history, the course for the future is up to you.  YOU are the captain of the ship.  If you need a crew to help you steer the ship to a new and fulfilling destination then consider talking to a professional life coach, career counselor or mentor.  Ask someone in your circle, Google it or email me at marcellus@marcelluslindsay.com and I’ll be happy to signpost you to people who have helped me.