Did you update your CV before your last performance review?

Keep your CV up to date even if you’re not in the market


David Dikman

3 years ago | 3 min read

Performance reviews aren’t fun

When it comes to evaluation season, no one loves it. It can be hard to see the reason why we need them, even as a manager. Maybe it’s for legal reasons or to record performance issues. Probably it is trying to set fair salaries.

You probably agree that the performance review, quarterly, annually or otherwise, isn’t the thing you love best about your job. After all, I think the only time a performance review feels worthwhile is when you get or get to give a good raise or praise.

What’s so bad about reviewing

In our day-to-day work, we usually do all kinds of reviews. Reviews of business plans, pitches, designs or code. We do reviews to share understanding and to reduce mistakes.

I think a performance review or evaluation has a different purpose. I think the goal should be to follow on our employee's career progress and make sure they're rewarded for it so they stay around.

We aren’t looking for mistakes, are we? Feedback, especially if negative, should be immediate and not wait until a year later.

I think the issue might lie the word. Evaluation or review has kind of a negative ring to it. It sounds like we are measuring something and that you can pass or fail.

But we seldom fail at doing our jobs, do we? We just get better all the time, though at different paces.

Photo by Zeina Kassem on Scopio

If I got hired now?

Since you were hired or got your last pay raise, what have you learned? If you updated your CV now and went to a different company, would they offer you more? Could you get a different role?

Instead of spending time writing an evaluation sheet motivating what you’ve done and having your manager going through it and dispute or agree, how about we all just update our CVs?

Then it’s easy to say what’s been learned past months and weight if and how much more valuable you are now to your company and on the market as a whole?

An example. things that could be updated:- Experience with Python (6m)- Confident writing tests with FastAPI and SQLAlchemy- Document APIs using OpenAPI format- Integration with Stripe payment platform- Creating stories and bugs with acceptance criteria, definition of done and steps (using Jira)

But not everything is in a CV

We aren’t a list of skills and certifications though. We’re daily helping our colleagues and being social.

I’ve read in many books on management variants of how to think about the people you work with in terms of whether you would do it again. As from Julie Zhou’s The Making of a Manager, if you can say that “My reports would gladly work for me again” well that’s something you could actually use in an interview.

One of the truest indicators of the strength of your relationships is whether your reports would want you as their manager in the future if they were given the choice.- Zhuo, Julie. The Making of a Manager (p. 62). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

I think the same goes for other team members. Even if your CV doesn’t change, others might have benefitted from your knowledge and the organisation as a whole might have improved.

Amazon even has interviews dedicated entirely to culture fit. I too always try to gauge candidates not only on skill but also how they would be able to use that skill in a manner that fits with other people our team. It doesn’t matter how good you are if you’re toxic.

If we like the people we overcome challenges with, we will be happy to do it time and time again

Let’s update our CVs

So maybe we can stop talking quarterly goals and instead about ambitions and how we have grown. Let us literally build our career the way we would use it, by polishing our CVs as we move along.

Problems in performance or teamwork can and should be solved when they occur not in a review.

Let’s assume that people constantly improve and don’t need to be told how or why. Helping members on our teams build their career instead, hopefully within our company.

Do you any similar experiences you can share? How do you do it at your company? Let me know!


Created by

David Dikman

Active reader, developer, manager, entrepreneur & sporadic writer here and at Currently working at







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