Whether or not you are currently seeking a job, rewriting your CV can be such a powerful experience. And if you are thinking now that the last thing you want to do is getting into those old dusty documents and sitting down to find those perfect words to describe yourself, think again.
Let’s look at it this way: your CV tells your story and (usually) tells it in a very positive, impacting way so that whoever reads it is convinced you are THE one they are looking for.
Now what if you are not even trying to convince someone, but yourself that YOU are the one. Over the last few months I have been applying for lots (and I mean LOTS) of jobs. My mind was all over the place. I am running my own little business, but at the same time I used to feel like I needed an “official” job to keep me going. So off I went applying for absolutely everything that sounded good to me. Every now and then there was a job that I truly, deeply could see myself doing, but most of the times it was more to tell myself that I was doing the right thing and simply applying where my skills were matching.
Anyway, that’s not important here. What I am telling you is that I wrote and rewrote my CV over and over again depending on the role I was applying for. And even though it felt frustrating and at times pointless, I started to enjoy doing it. This happened when my mind switched and looking at my job hunt from a completely different angle. Rather than telling myself I had to, I starting saying I want to. I began to see it as something I had control of and that the way I presented my CV completely was up to me. Not only did wonderful opportunities come out of this (including my absolute dream job that perfectly matches with my own little business hurray), but soon I realized that there are some true benefits to take away from this:
1. You retell your story.
I know this might sound obvious, because clearly that’s what the CV is for, right? But I find that even when not looking for a job, listing all the things you have achieved, all your amazing skills, experiences, and so on, can bring so much clarity to what you already have created in the past and what your next step might look like. I know that for so many, looking for a new job can feel scary. Do I have the right skills? Do I have enough experience? Your CV allows you to write down your very own story and you might be amazed what incredible things you have to tell.
2. You recall your true strengths.
Let’s put the job hunt aside for a moment and think about writing a CV just for yourself. What are your true strengths not only in your career, but also as as a partner, parent, friend – anything that makes you the wonderful human being you are? Sometimes we can forget about all those little amazing things as simple as being a good listener, giving the most heartfelt hugs, making the best cup of tea , always finding the right words to say, making others feel welcome, and so much more. It could be anything about you that is your special “thing”. So even if you are not searching for a job, listing your strengths can be a great push of motivation and put you back on track.
3.You (re-)define your goal.
What is it you are truly wanting to do? You might have set yourself a goal and lost track. You might not even have a goal. Or maybe you are working towards a specific goal. Working through your CV can provide you with such great insight about where you are today, and what it truly is that you are wanting to do. Dreams can change, so be sure you are on track with yourself and not walking someone else’s path. When writing a personal statement in your CV, this is often where you talk about your purpose; where you are wanting to go with what you are doing. And it might not be clear and specific, but even having a broad idea can be very helpful in giving you that motivation, that drive to push you into the right direction.
4.You see yourself whole.
What else have you got? Besides your professional career background, a CV often asks you to note down any other talents or interests. This somewhat relates back to thinking about your strengths. Yet even more so, this is about looking at your passions outside of work – all those other activities you enjoy that make you YOU. Going through this, you might realize that you haven’t given much time to those passions and it could be a great reminder to change that. Or you might find that some of those passions are actually not part of you anymore and there is space for something new. A great way to recap!
5. You lift yourself up.
This is probably the most valuable out of all of the points listed here. This, especially, is true in times when you feel a bit lost, frustrated or unsure what you should do next. It doesn’t get any better when receiving a job rejection. However, you’ll know when writing your CV that it actually isn’t that bad at all. In our CV we usually try to find the best possible words to describe ourselves, presenting ourselves in the shiniest, brightest way possible.
Whether just reading through your CV and reminding yourself that “Yes, I can do this. And oh, I can also do that. Plus I am really good at this.” I’m sure you feel a lot better. And if in doubt, rewrite your CV. Talk about yourself in a way you would when talking about your lovely friend, or partner, or whoever you truly value. Choose all those incredible words to describe yourself and then read it over and over again until you no longer need to question, but you know these words are true.
Whether you are looking for a job or not, your CV is more than just a document that you send off to convince someone else. First and foremost, you have to be convinced that you truly are that amazing human being you describe to be in this document.
Remember, there is no one else just like you.
So go and write your CV whether for someone else or just for you – this is your very own, unique story.