Here at Select Resumes, we are often asked what to put in and what to leave out of resumes, cover letters and key selection criteria. The truth is not an easy answer; certainly, there are arguments to draw a line under your employment history if it is especially long and the older jobs are not relevant either directly or in terms of transferable skills to your current objectives. Even some of your qualifications, if they are not directly relatable to your current career arc, may be prudent to leave on the cutting room floor.
But one thing we do put a lot of importance on is your continuing professional development (CPD). If you are engaged in CPD, you are demonstrating to your possible future employer that you are committed to safeguarding the employer, its stakeholders, and your own career. This is a huge plus and will immediately place you ahead of a candidate does not demonstrate this.
“CPD is essential in a knowledge-based industry,” says Guy Buckland, head of development at law firm Osborne Clarke. “The main point of differentiation from other firms is the quality of your people’s knowledge, both technical and of their clients’ industries. We know that our clients value that knowledge when they have to make business-critical decisions.”
Showing your commitment to professional development also shows that you are someone whose knowledge stays relevant and current. It proves that you are demonstrably more conscious of the shifting trends and directions in your occupation. The message it sends out is abundantly clear – if you are not developing, you are standing still, and you are behind the curve. Therefore, your knowledge and skill sets will be outmoded and potentially counter-productive to the company you are targeting.
CPD will also positively identify you as a key influencer – someone who will be sought out for mentoring assistance. Being able to disseminate knowledge is a major bonus for any employer as you are raising the knowledge-base of all staff you are in immediate contact with. Also, it proves your long-term obligation to your career path – no employer wants to go to the effort of recruiting and bedding-in a new employer only to see them move in a short while.
Although CPD can be mandatory in some professions, to be able to demonstrate that you have undertaken CPD on your own time again shows you are structured, focused and disciplined.
So, when the writers at Select Resumes have their consultation with you, we will be asking about your efforts in this direction. If you have undertaken CPD either voluntarily or as a mandatory requirement of your current or any previous relevant employment, we want to know about it. These will be listed with your qualifications and important knowledge gleaned will form part of your career summary paragraph. We will articulate for you exactly how the professional development you have undertaken has given you an edge over your competition and how your increased knowledge will make you an asset for the company you are targeting over and above candidates who have elected not to undertake any CPD.