Whilst I have a job that I really enjoy, I believe that it is important to keep your CV and Personal Career Portfolio up to date, you never know what is around the corner nowadays and must be prepared for anything. I also just like to see how much I have achieved and it helps me think about and plan for where I want to go next in my continual search for self improvement and skills development.
Generally my actual CV tends to be just an up to date reference guide of my experience as most jobs have their own application form so a CV is rarely needed. When you do need a CV though using your basic one is a recipe for failure, you need to tailor your CV to the job you are applying for so that it contains the most relevant and useful information to help you get that job, in addition you will need a classy Cover letter to accompany your CV. The Cover letter needs to show that you have actually put some thought into how you will fit the company you are applying to work for. Demonstrate that you have done some research! So in addition to responding to the job description and person specification illustrate how you will fit in with the companies goals and values. To do this you need to find out about the company, their website is a good place to do this!!
Of course I am no expert on this topic, this is just what I believe, but there is plenty of good guidance out there that echoes what I am saying and will help you even more. For example jobsite have some really good tips and furthermore I really like their Personal Profile Questionnaire which identifies your ‘jobseeker type’ to help you understand the work environment that suits you best.
According to my Profile I am a Believer -
As a Believer you believe the world has almost infinite possibilities. You believe people should be pursuing their passions and not be caught up by what others say they should desire.
I think they have got me bang to rights in most of what they say about me! haha
I’m a bit addicted to quizzes and questionnaires (as anyone who views my profile on Facebook will tell you, haha) but seriously there are a few good personal analysis questionnaires out there. Two other examples I really like are ones that I was asked to take for my current job: A DISC Analysis and the StrengthsFinder Assessment.
My DISC analysis suggests I am a C style – precise, logical, matter-of-fact, analytical and careful. need data, information and analyses. Focused on tasks and ensure things get done correctly. Tend to produce high quality work. C-styles may also focus too much on the details, becoming nitpicking, slow and losing the big picture. At times they get lost in the analysis, focusing too much on the trees not the forest. Others may perceive C-Styles as too critical, distant, pessimistic and even cold. My primary relationship role is: Assurer – thorough and calm, concentrates on her work. Does not like when people disturb her, and she does not disturb others. The assurer dreads mistakes and wants to work at her pace. Others find her accurate and someone who observes everything. the assurer is also seen as quiet and private. in reality she is a considerate person and often does not speak out until the conversation has already taken place. the assurer finds it extremely important to know what others expect from her and how they want her to proceed. She finds it uncomfortable to jump into the unknown without the support of others. She wants matters to proceed systematically and does not tolerate surprises unless their effects to the overall context are deliberated upon carefully. She does not find it important to be actively involved with others. however, the assurer finds it important she can rely on others help if help is needed. – I would mostly agree with these point too, not so sure about ‘slow’ and ‘cold’ seems a bit harsh… although I will admit people have said that to me but otherwise it is pretty much me again…
StrengthsFinder identifies your top 5 ‘themes’ from 34 different themes, the idea being that instead of mistakenly trying to improve on our weaknesses instead we should all play on and develop our strengths in order to achieve the most. My top 5 were:
Learner – having a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. in particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them (Of course this had to be one of mine, like I would have got ANYTHING else! haha)
Discipline – enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create. (This covers my OCD, hehe)
Input – has a craving to know more. Often they collect and archive all kinds of information. ( More OCD and also explains me researching EVERYTHING and keeping records of it…)
Futuristic – Inspired by the future and what could be. Inspire others with their visions of the future. (definitely not in a ‘dreamer’ way though, more of a ‘planner’)
Achiever – has a great deal of stamina and works hard. Take great satisfaction from being busy and productive (well I am always saying how much I cant stand getting through a day without having achieved something!)
So I put all this stuff in to my Personal Career Portfolio, which is a lever-arch folder containing my whole career history. I have five sections in my portfolio -
1-Personal Information – This is where I store my current Job Description, Appraisals and Personal Analysis Questionnaires.
2-CV’s – here i have my basic CV and any ‘tailored’ versions i have produced recently (which at the moment is none, because I haven’t needed to!)
3- Academic Transcripts – Summaries of all the University courses and qualifications I have completed and am currently studying towards.
4- Educational Evidence – All my professional and academic qualification certificates
5- Evidence of Other Training and Achievements – Certificates of attendance,training and workshops, awards, and even my old school reports (yes I still have them!)
Updating this is a regular activity for me, I try to look at it once a month, because I am always either completing a course of training or starting a new one, actually my folder is just about full now so I am going to have to think about either starting a new one, dividing it up or removing earlier stuff like school reports into an ‘archive’ folder – after all they are unlikely to be needed for any potential employers now as it is quite a long time since I left school!! hehe
Well I hope this has been interesting and maybe even useful? have a nice Sunday