Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Importance of Being Up-To-Date

I have a working history of over ten years.  I've had a few different jobs, gained a variety of skills and experience.

Compiling it all into one document can become a little tricky - what to include, what's relevant and what isn't.

Potentially, one area that some people may neglet is how up-to-date some of their information is.

For example; references.   Not everyone includes these on their CV's and there is debate as to whether they ought to be.  I chose to include mine as I had the space.  I have three - my current employer, a recent employer, and someone I do volunteer work with.

My 'recent' employer is from an office and the named person is not my original referree.  Reason?  My manager, whom I got along with fabulously and respected, decided to retire last year.

I had kept in touch with people in that office so I knew that she would be leaving.  So I quickly asked someone else to provide a reference.  It wouldn't be nice for my manager to be distrubed whilst enjoying her retirement - to say nothing of the fact I don't have a private contact number for her!

You can picture it now - I have a fabulous interview and it hinges on the references.  They phone the number I provided and ask to speak to Mrs.Ref ... oh, she retired last year?  Well, who else can we speak to??  This isn't very professional ... shadows of doubt, feelings of annoyance and timewasting ... doesn't reflect well on me, does it?

Yesterday, I received news of something else that I'll have to change on my CV.

About a year ago I designed and built a website for a friend.  I'm no computer wizz but the site was pretty good.  So that has been included under my IT skills section of my CV.

Yesterday, my friend texted me to ask how to close it down.

So now that the site is not going to be visable on the internet very shortly, I can't include that information as it is.

I can not include the website address, but I can still state that I built a website and include some screenshot printouts in my portfolio.  That's really the best way around it.  I don't want to omit what I did because it's a great example of IT skills, but if the website no longer exists then it would be pointless to include an address - potential employers won't be able to view it!

So where's this website?  The address doesn't even exist!?
If they ask during interviews about it, then I can be honest and state that the owner chose to close it recently but I still have evidence of it in my portfolio which I can then show them.

Even before now, I would check that the website was still up, just in case my friend took it down without mentioning it first.

Always check what you include in your CV, particularly references and anything that can potentially change or go out of date.


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