Why should I update my CV?

Updating your CV is something that might feel like a bit of a chore, but there are many good reasons to consider spending the time on this piece of personal administration. Here are a few things to consider:

  • It provides the opportunity to remove old positions that may no longer be relevant
  • You get the chance to show that you have updated your skills if you have been on a course or gained experience
  • Keywords are often used to identify relevant CVs if employers are using algorithms to sift candidates – you can make sure these are in the relevant sections
  • You can review the format of your CV to ensure it is clear and effective
  • If you’re having issues with an old CV that has been copied and pasted from other versions, sometimes it’s easier to ditch it and start again. After all, it is only two sides of A4 and you can spend a whole evening trying and failing to resolve formatting problems!
  • Have you updated your contact details? Think about your own data protection and only include what is necessary – if you apply online for a job, the employer doesn’t need your full postal address

Why do I need a CV?


You might like to look on a CV as your “shop window”. As every shopkeeper knows, it is important to have the most attractive stock on display in the window and that you change the display from time to time to maintain customers interest!

You might not be job searching currently, but updating your CV is still a valuable thing to do. Do you have a presence on websites such as LinkedIn or other job-search or recruitment websites? Employers might be interested in you when they see your new CV, and be willing to offer you an attractive opportunity that you didn’t think was available.

In the current employment climate, employers are crying out for experienced and trained staff in many fields of industry.

It’s also true that job opportunities can come and go in the course a day, especially as roles are increasingly advertised on social media platforms. So it is vital that you can react immediately with the best CV you can muster if you are to stand the best chance of competing.

Updating your CV for recruitment websites


With some recruitment websites they are designed to recognise when something new has occurred – updating your CV can provide that prompt.

Imagine a pile of CVs on a desk – the most recent one will be top of that pile but two months down the line it will be gathering dust at the bottom of the pile. Revamping the CV is a great way to get you back at the top of the pile and visible again.

Tips for updating your CV


  • Be clear about the kind of job or role you are hoping to get – this will enable you to focus on how effective your CV will hopefully be
  • Clarity of career direction enables you to research carefully what employers are most commonly looking for in your chosen career – you can find this out by careful study of job adverts and identifying the factors that come up again and again
  • Your personal profile at the start of your CV needs to include the things that will be of most interest to employers in your chosen career – your CV is a valuable marketing tool after all!
  • If you’re applying for a variety of roles, make sure each CV is tailored specifically to each job. For example, the requirements of an admin position are likely to be quite different to those in a retail setting though obviously there will be some crossover
  • Your fantastic typing speed and ability to handle Excel might not cut it in the fast-paced retail sector and equally your brilliant approach to stock display won’t get that complex mail merge and supplier mailout done by the end of business today!
  • Some people try to have a generic approach to their CV in the hope that it will be attractive to all employers but in reality, they are likely to find that this is not the case
  • While it is true that there are some common requirements that almost all employers would be seeking from a candidate – such as reliability, honesty and good communication skills – many employers would also be seeking things that are specific to their industry

So, with this in mind, perhaps now is the time to give that tired generic CV a snappy new focussed revamp!

Time to hit the high street!

Need more help with updating your CV? Check if you’re eligible for employment support from Work Well.

Chris Finch - Vocational Specialist

Picture of Chris

My name is Chris and I have been involved with the Work Well network since the start of 2007. I currently work for the CORE team in Croydon as a Vocational Specialist. I have worked before in Southwark and Croydon in both community mental health teams and with IAPT services. Before this I enjoyed a long work history in mental health support, having started in 1988 in a hospital setting in South West London. In my career I have worked for the NHS, Local Authority Adult Social Care and Mental Health Charities which has given me a lot of insights and experience. I have been employed in other jobs including retail, labouring, motorcycle courier and working as a refuse collector. I have also volunteered in my spare time using my many other skills, most recently with a local environmental charity. I enjoy bicycles and repair them for neighbours, people my local community and as a volunteer. I have two old classic motorcycles which I maintain and take for a spin whenever the weather is decent. I also enjoy growing healthy food on my lovely allotment.