04 Jan Why You Need a CV Wardrobe
Your CV is your foot in the door. It’s your first chance to make a great impression. You need to get it right, and that means tailoring it each and every time for your target job role or company.
Crafting the most relevant CV for your target role means carefully selecting which information to include, and just as importantly, what to exclude. You do not need to include every single thing you have ever done or achieved. Your CV should not be War and Peace, chapter and verse. Really it’s a marketing document. Which means you need to tweak it, shape it, sculpt it and polish it into something that reflects the ‘you’ brand you are trying to convey. This is now more important than ever in the increasingly competitive and changing job market. We all do so many different things and have so many aspects to our work-life with such varied internal and external interests. Not all of them will be appropriate to talk about for every job you go for. And some you will want to highlight and bring out more than others.
I’ve helped many clients to set up a CV Wardrobe to help them with this tailoring process.
Just like your clothes wardrobe, in here you keep all the different parts of your CV in different sections (but instead of jumpers, suits, trousers, skirts you keep your full range of sections of Personal Value Proposition statements, previous job roles, education, interests, and so on). It’s also a great place to keep different iterations of your CV, or past CVs that you don’t want to lose completely but might not be relevant right now. Or, if you’re someone with multiple careers or looking to change career direction, your CV Wardrobe is a great place to retain all this info.
Next time you are getting ready to apply for a new role, think about it like getting dressed for an event. How do you want to present yourself? Dig into your wardrobe and try out some different sections to see what they look like, tailoring them each time to the specific role.
Keep all the different sections saved into one digital folder so you can access them easily. Organise them into different documents for each section and then add to them over time.
One of the best things you can do is keep this CV Wardrobe folder up to date. A great tip is to update your CV wardrobe regularly whilst you are in your current job. Even if you just bash out quick notes about budget responsibility, team size etc. it will really help you in the long run. If you don’t come to actually write a new CV for another two or three years then you will have all this stuff recorded somewhere so you don’t forget it. Five minutes now could save you hours later.