How to update your CV for better results in 2024

Did you know that an outdated CV could be the only thing standing between you and success? Whether you are currently job hunting or not, it’s always a smart idea to keep your CV updated. A great opportunity could be right around the corner and having your CV ready to go can save you a lot of time and guarantee you a higher chance of being considered.
As you progress within your career, you may gain valuable new skills, experiences, and qualities that should reflect on your CV. Because your CV is often the first impression you give employers, it’s a great idea to make it a habit to periodically review it to highlight your most recent accomplishments and remove any outdated information.

Keep reading our blog post to learn all about CVs and discover expert tips on how to update yours effectively!

By Manar Sadkou
A piece of paper with "ABOUT ME" written on it is surrounded by office supplies.
Your CV tells the story of your career — keep it updated to show recruiters the best version of you!

What is the meaning of CV?

CV is short for "Curriculum Vitae", which is Latin for "course of life". The name is very fitting because the purpose behind a CV is to detail one's professional journey. Generally, it is a comprehensive document that summarizes an individual's educational background, professional experience, skills, and other relevant accomplishments. It is frequently used when applying for jobs, academic positions, or other opportunities that require a thorough overview of one's career and qualifications.

CV vs resume: what is the difference?

While many people often make the mistake of using the words CV and resume interchangeably, there is a major difference between them. There are 3 main distinctions between a CV and a resume: scope, length, and use.
  • Scope: A resume is a more concise account of an individual’s skills, work experience, education, and accomplishments. It only includes information that is relevant to the job position a person is applying for. On the other hand, a CV is a more detailed document that aims to provide a full chronological record of one’s career.
  • Length: A resume is usually shorter, around 1 to 2 pages long, whereas a CV can be multiple pages long because it’s more extensive.
  • Usage: Resumes are commonly utilized in the United States and Canada for most job applications across a wide range of industries. CVs, on the flip side, are typically used in academic, medical, and research fields throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in many other countries around the world.

How to update your CV

Now that you have all the background information you need on CVs, it’s time to learn the best way to keep yours updated. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to refresh your CV to ensure success in all your future endeavors:

1. Review your current CV

Examining your CV in detail, thinking about how your career has changed since you last updated it, and arranging how to present this new information ensures that your updated CV will effectively showcase your qualifications and achievements to potential employers.

2. Verify that your contact details are up to date

Probably the most crucial piece of information on your CV is the contact information in the header. How could a prospective employer get in touch with you without it? Go through this area to begin updating your CV. Immediately make any necessary adjustments if you've changed your phone number or switched addresses.

3. Freshen up your CV summary

A CV summary gives employers a concise rundown of the essential skills and experiences that make you an excellent candidate. Make sure the qualities that are most relevant to you and recent are reflected in your summary. Limit its length to one or two sentences to catch the reader's eye.

4. Update each section

Carefully add new information and refine existing content to ensure it reflects your current professional profile. List your jobs in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. Update the education section with any new degrees, certifications, or relevant coursework. Include any new skills, licenses, awards, etc. you’ve acquired.

5. Makeover your CV

Your CV needs a fresh look and feel now that its information is updated. Although the CV format you use should never overshadow your achievements, adding a splash of color might make you stand out from the sea of CVs that recruiters have to look through.

6. Proofread all the changes you’ve made

After you've finished editing your CV, make sure to proofread it to catch any mistakes. Pay attention to your grammar and spelling. Recruiters could get the wrong idea from simple errors like these. Proofreading and presenting a perfect CV takes effort, but it also demonstrates that you have an attention to detail that almost all employers find valuable.
 

Bonus explainer: Emailing your job application


Are you updating your CV as part of a job search? Then don’t miss our explainers on how to make positive and professional impression in the application process: Applying by email: Samples for your successful job application and Job search: Why follow-up after an interview?

When to update your CV

A good rule of thumb is that you should update your CV at least twice a year, while recent accomplishments are still fresh in your mind – even if you are satisfied with your current job. If you're looking for a job right now, you should update your resume as frequently as you can to keep it relevant. It's also definitely time to update your resume if something happens that would make you stand out to potential employers.  A few career updates you might put on your CV can be getting a promotion, taking on a greater role, obtaining a new certification, or finishing a major project.

It's essential to keep your resume up to date if you want to seize opportunities and show prospective employers your best professional side. Maintaining your CV up to date will give you a competitive edge in the job market by ensuring that it appropriately highlights your most recent accomplishments, experiences, and skills. The steps described in this guide will help you keep your CV up to date and prepared for any opportunity that may present itself.
 

Pro tip: mail.com resume and cover letter templates


Did you know that our Online Office has resume and cover letter templates ready for use? They can be easily adjusted to your liking and will save you so much time. Here are a few steps to help you find them:
  1. Log into your mail.com account and click on the Online Office feature at the top of the page.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “View all templates.”
  3. Scroll down again until you reach the “Resumes” section. There, you will find both documents, labeled “letter” and “resume.” (If you want to go the extra mile, why not check out our Premium “modern-resume” template? It can also be found in the same section).

Remember, your CV is often the first impression you give, so keeping it polished and current is key to your success!

We hope this article was helpful and we look forward to your feedback below! And if you still don’t have an email account with mail.com, why not sign up for free today?

Images: 1&1/Shutterstock

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