GRN CV Tips, part II: Don’t wait for a job search to update your CV – do it today!

keep-calm-and-update-your-cv-7The majority of people only go to revise their CV when they are looking for a new job or when they are worried about the current one. Although you enjoy your work and you have no intention to quit, you may need to think about your “old” CV and bring it “alive” today, rather than waiting until its urgent. Why?

Recent studies stress the importance of updating your CV regularly, NOT only when you are planning to quit a job or when you are already looking for a new one. Some very forward thinking companies even go so far as to check once per year if their employees have updated their CV. Sounds silly?

Well, Business Insider provides several good reasons, why you should sit down and update your CV right NOW. At GRN we agree with most of these and provide you with our insights as well.

  1. Remind yourself of your accomplishments

It’s sometimes necessary to sit down and think what did you actually achieve at your last job. Your CV contains information about the skills you’ve learned, but it should also give the picture of change you’ve made in your career path. It will help you to make your own plans for the near future, as well as for the long-term. We all want to present ourselves as impressively as possible, and with a fresh mind it’s much easier 🙂

  1. Track your personal progress

Many of us are very busy at work. That’s why we often forget what kind of progress we’ve made from the last job to the current one and in which areas we’ve developed. If you update your CV only once every few years, you are likely to forget or overlook some important changes that have happened in your career and which new skills you’ve acquired.

Reviewing your CV more often will help you understand yourself better, better track your career journey, and analyze your passions, values, and preferences. Every role is a reflection of who you are.

  1. Stressed time is not a good time

When you are looking for a new job or you are worried that a layoff may be coming, you naturally feel stressed out. This might not be the right time for refreshing your CV because you are not in the mindset of thinking about your successes and goals. Moreover, you are maybe under time pressure, so you might want to use your time for other things rather than refreshing your CV.

  1. Be prepared for the bad times too

The job market today is changing every day and sadly we have to be prepared for everything. You never know when your CV might come in handy and if you have a freshly revised CV, you can react quickly. Having an up-to-date CV can increase your chances of landing that new job, thus maximizing your potential in the job market. As the saying goes “Luck comes to those who are prepared.”

So, we recommend updating your CV after each new project while details are still fresh in your mind and it’s easy to explain what you’ve learned or accomplished. What may have seemed a small thing in your current job, may actually make the difference of a potential new employer offering you that new job.

myresume

This might not work!

Although updating your CV might seem a bit time-consuming and tiring, in the end it will save you a lot of time and energy. Your

CV is a marketing tool to show your strengths, so make sure yours is as powerful as it can be and most up-to-date. Plus, revisiting your accomplishments will help you develop confidence and clearer direction in your career.

So, when was the last time you looked at your CV? Are you ready to refresh it NOW? 🙂

Prepared by Júlia Švandová, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech

GRN CV Tips, part I: Include a picture or not?

Shall I include my picture into the CV? Does it help or hurt? If you are asking yourself these questions and you hear various arguments for and against, hopefully our GRN tips will help you to get the answer. This article is a part of series in which GRN Czech shares its secrets on how to polish one’s CV.

Hire me, eh?

Hire me, eh?

You can find tons of articles online, which discuss whether it’s good or bad to include a picture in your CV.  Well, we have to say that the majority opinion is that the picture should not be part of your CV.  At GRN we agree with this statement and below is our explanation why.

First of all, the Headhunter/Recruiter or Hiring Manager that you send your CV to,  spends only a few seconds screening a CV. That means, a picture might take too much attention and time which could be better spent reading your accomplishments and achievements. Help the reader focus, because these allow the reader to better “see” the successful you.

Secondly, if a photo is not specifically required in the job description (e.g. for some jobs, like for a  Model it is important), then it’s irrelevant to include it. Simply for the reason that it does not matter how you look. According to BusinessInsider, the only thing which might happen, is that it can lead to discrimination. And no one wants that.

The research conducted by HRMorning revealed that CVs that include a photo are one of the 8 top reasons for automatically not considering a potential candidate. So, that’s a good reason for NOT including your picture in the CV, right?

Moreover, what happens many times is that candidates put an unflattering or unprofessional photo of themselves in their CV. So, IF you do decide to include a photo, make 100% sure it’s a photo that is professional and a good quality resolution (also when printing it out). Also, make sure it is also a relatively recent photo, not one from when you were 10 years younger and 15kg lighter… 🙂

Not for CV, either 🙂

We can say that the trend of including a picture in CV varies between countries. While in the U.S. and U.K. it’s not very common, in Europe it’s still popular. However, based on our experience here in GRN, we can say that more often than not, the picture can hurt more than it helps. Not including your photo won’t harm nor decrease your chance to get the job. On the other hand, including a picture might cause some bias and prejudice, which can cut your chances of being considered significantly.

To conclude, at GRN we discourage our candidates from including their photo in their CV.  However, it’s your decision in the end. 🙂

Prepared by Júlia Švandová, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech

Get to know us: Sini Suutari, Social Media Coordinator

Today, we are introducing our Social Media Coordinator, Sini, who is finishing her internship at GRN soon. Sini has spent here almost 6 months. She has something to say not only about how she enjoyed the time in Prague, but also some interesting facts about her home country – Finland. Did you know that Finnish people are crazy about coffee?!

Sini Suutari

Dobrý den, Sini. So, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Moi kaikki – as we tend to say hello to everybody in my native language 🙂 I am Sini, turning (shockingly!) a quarter of a century this year. I will spend few more weeks here at GRN as the Social Media Coordinator. Originally I come from southern Finland, although the last 5 years (before packing my bags and moving here) I lived in the most western part of Finland: in the windiest, but luckily also one of the sunniest cities in Finland – Vaasa. I’ve studied at the University of Vaasa, with a Major in Communications and Media Studies and I’ll graduate with a Master of Arts right after this internship.

In addition to being passionately interested in social media and online corporate communications, in my free time I’m a big dog lover, kind of coffee addicted, and continuously searching for the balance between exercising (gym, aerobics, jogging, inline skating, skiing – pretty much anything) and enjoying tasty food (especially sweet desserts). I am also carrying my heavy camera almost everywhere with me and aiming to improve myself as a photographer.

What brought you to Prague? And how do you like the city?

Coming to Prague was actually quite a surprise, not only for myself, but for everyone around me. I never thought about moving abroad, but I found an interesting Social Media internship offer from GRN and decided to apply for it on the spur of the moment. After all, Social Media experience from abroad could be something very useful for my future career and headhunting sounded like a completely new and interesting area to me. In addition to that, I knew that living abroad would improve my English skills and provide me the international experience I didn’t have yet.

Castle by night, picture Sini Suutari

Prague Castle, photo by Sini Suutari

Well, now here we are and I have had the time of my life! I think all of my friends already know my opinion about Prague – or like I tend to call it – “Pragadise”. The beauty of the city and all the buildings are amazing! Like last on Wednesday we took a walk with Julia (our new intern) to the top of the Petrin Hill and then headed down to the Castle and back to Mala Strana – it still takes my breath away to see the views from all these „sightseeing“ places that there’s no shortage in Prague. Especially the summer time here was wonderful. Restaurants (food in general), coffee places and pubs are much cheaper than in Finland – although I have nothing against cooking, it’s always so nice to sit down with friends and enjoy the atmosphere and people around you.

There are lots of differences between central Europe and Nordic countries. Did you have any difficulties getting along with the new culture?

When I came to Prague, I really didn’t have any expectations so I wouldn’t say I had much difficulties getting along with the culture. Probably the fact, that the atmosphere here at the office is so international, also helped. But of course, as much as I love Prague, there are some things that I miss from back home (proper filter coffee machines, for example 🙂 ). I guess Communism has left its mark on people here and sometimes I do realise just how differently Czech and Finnish people think about certain things, or how differently the whole system works.

What have you found the most interesting at GRN so far?

This is a tough one. I could mention so many things! But I guess one of the most interesting thing was to learn what’s headhunting all about. And also I’ve learnt so much how to present myself and be more confident as a future professional.

As GRN’s Social Media Coordinator, what do you think about using Social Media in Recruitment nowadays?

I think Social Media in Recruitment is the present and the future. LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn. Especially young people: if you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, take the time and do it now (firstly, you may want to check some advice by following us! 😉 ). Maybe creating the profile is not something that will pay off immediately, but it’s a fact that more and more recruiters are searching and checking candidates on LinkedIn and via other Social Media channels. And, social networking is very often, after all, the key for success to move forward and reach higher goals in your career. Who knows, you may even end of finding your dream job offer on LinkedIn.

What is your plan after this internship at GRN?

My original plan was to go back to Finland and go for my second Masters degree (major in HR Management), but the time here has changed my views on some things. Now at the moment I am focusing on finding a job related to Corporate communications. I’m excited to see where on earth, literally, I’ll find myself in few months. So, now ideally I will gain some more working experience and maybe later finish the M.Sc. in HR alongside working. We’ll see!

What would you tell to your successor?

I will probably tell her a lot of things – are you ready to take notes, Siiri? 😉 There will be two weeks overlap with my successor before I finish working and I will be happy to help her to have a nice boost for the beginning at GRN. Generally speaking, I would like to tell her to use the time wisely – months will pass like a blink! Be active, creative and keep yourself up to date with what’s happening in the field of Social Media. Learn as much as possible to take the most out of your internship. After your time at GRN, you’ll look back and realize how much you did for yourself and your future career.

IMG_0659

Sini’s 10 quick choices:

coffee or tea » COFFEE  (the Finns are the heaviest coffee users in the world. Everyone at GRN knows that I am not an exception!)
morning or evening » EVENING (I’d love to be a morning person but it just doesn’t seem to work like that)
sports or art » SPORTS (I love both doing and watching sports)
dog or cat » DOG (Dogs = almost like a lifestyle rather than just a hobby)
rock or jazz » ROCK
vodka or whiskey » VODKA
steak or soup » STEAK (although, eating lot of soups in Czech Republic have made me like them more)
cake or crisps » CAKE
linkedin or facebook » FACEBOOK (I’ve learnt a lot about LinkedIn during the internship, but at the moment FB is still more my cup of “coffee”)
resume or CV » CV


Thank you Sini for the interview! We’ll enjoy having you around for a couple of weeks more and then wish you all the best of luck in your future! But of course you are still the leader of the GRN Czech Alumni team 😉