CV's and ageing rock stars

Posted by Nigel Wilson on 28 October 2013 | Comments

A couple of situations during the past week have made me think about the correlation between CV’s and ageing rock stars

As a fan of 70’s rock (an old rocker some might say), I recently went to see Deep Purple in London. The age / profile of the audience was mixed, but largely male and grey-haired. What we wanted to hear were the songs we know from the band’s heyday in the 1970’s. What we mostly heard, however, were tracks off their latest albums!

Was that what we wanted? No! We came to listen to the music we’re most familiar with - the stuff that the band are famous for. This is, incidentally, something the Rolling Stones do very successfully; they play exactly what the audience wants to hear

In contrast, I’m often asked by candidates what I think of their CV’s, and what would I recommend. Now this is an interesting subject, and covered succinctly on my website -

However, one key point I would endorse is that prospective employers are generally only interested in what candidates have done in the past 10 years. The past beyond may be interesting, but frankly, it’s what has happened and what people have experienced and achieved in the last 10 years that’s most relevant

So my advice on CV writing is to focus on the past 10 years rather than a long historical career account. In fact, too much detail relating to the past can overshadow the present

In a nutshell, ageing rock stars should stick to playing their past hits, and jobseekers should focus on the present and recent past. Unlike the old rockers, it’s what you’re doing now that really matters.