The Importance of Keeping Your C.V Up To Date

4 minutes

In the dynamic landscape of career advancement, the Curriculum Vitae (CV) remains the most important document when it comes to progressing to new opportunities. Yet, despite its pivotal role, many individuals tend to overlook the importance of regularly updating their CVs. 

In neglecting your CV, you may find that this professional passport no longer reflects you, your skillsets, and your achievements. The majority of the labour market can be described as ‘passive’ i.e. not actively looking for a new role, and many within this bracket may argue “Why do I need an up-to-date CV if I’m not looking for a new role”. This argument can seem particularly pressing in the legal sector with lawyers becoming increasingly busy and reluctant to add workload to their already busy schedules.

This article aims to demonstrate why maintaining an up-to-date resume in the legal sector is not a tedious task of irrelevance, but an activity of strategic benefit to both you and your career. 

Why is it Important to Keep an Up-to-Date CV:

  • Capitalising on Opportunities: The most pressing advantage of keeping an up-to-date CV is being able to capitalise on opportunities when they arrive. When it comes to applications, as the age-old saying goes “the early bird catches the worm”. The legal labour market is incredibly cyclical (particularly in the regions, where one move can cause a ripple effect of vacancies). For practice areas where there has been a dearth of vacancies for a sustained period, those vacancies can receive many applications in a short space of time after being posted. Keeping an up-to-date CV enables you to seize opportunities as they emerge, ensuring you're always positioned for success.


  • Highlighting Case Experience and Achievements: Legal professionals often build their reputations based on their track record of successful cases and achievements. An updated CV enables you to accurately document your case experience, including notable wins, settlements, agreements, or precedents set. By regularly updating your CV, it is easier to document the extent of your involvement in such matters. When CVs are left alone for years at a time, there is a greater risk of forgetting these details that are vital for making a compelling argument on your CV. 


  • Networking and Building a Strong Personal Brand: Networking is essential in advancing one's legal career.  Your CV is often the first impression you make on potential employers or clients. An outdated or incomplete CV can give the impression of disinterest or stagnation.   An updated CV serves as a powerful tool for networking, enabling solicitors to make a strong impression on peers, mentors, and potential clients. In addition to this, building a personal brand is becoming increasingly important for solicitors, keeping an up-to-date, detailed LinkedIn profile is one of the main ways solicitors achieve this. LinkedIn has a feature that allows solicitors to upload a resume to their profile for all their Network to see. A polished, up-to-date CV showcases a commitment to professionalism thus reinforcing one's personal brand online.


  • You’ll be one step ahead and prepared for unexpected change: In today's volatile economic climate, job security can never be guaranteed. Downsizing, restructuring, or unforeseen circumstances such as mergers, and acquisitions can lead to sudden job transitions. Having an updated CV ready to go provides peace of mind and ensures you're prepared to navigate any career changes smoothly. It minimises the stress of job hunting by eliminating the need to scramble to update outdated information during already challenging times.


How regularly should I be updating my CV?

For the reasons outlined above, it is vitally important for solicitors to keep an up-to-date CV, however, how regularly should you be looking to update your resume? 

There is certainly no need to revisit your CV daily, weekly or even monthly, it is widely recommended that you should visit your CV at the end of each fiscal quarter (translating to once every 3 months) or after any personal appraisals you have with your management. 

So this task doesn’t get pushed to the bottom of the pile, it is recommended that you treat the exercise like a meeting. Set aside half an hour of your day by putting the task into your diary. By repeating this quarterly, it should start to feel routine which means updating your CV will become a habit rather than a chore. 

In conclusion, in the fast-paced and competitive landscape of the legal sector, maintaining an updated CV is not just a best practice; it's a strategic imperative. By reflecting your professional growth, seizing opportunities, enhancing credibility, staying relevant, building networks, responding to unexpected changes, and demonstrating commitment to excellence, an updated CV serves as a powerful tool for success in the legal profession. So, take the time once every quarter to ensure that your CV remains current, accurate, and compelling—it may just be the key to unlocking your next career milestone.