When can you put new technology in your CV?

When is it too early to put a skill in your CV?

A pile of books
Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

Have you started using a new library, programming language, or cloud service? Do you wonder when you can put it into your CV? Should you do it after one month? Three months? Or maybe a year? When do you earn the bragging rights?

You should do it right away.

If you continue using the new tool for more than one month, you'll learn something useful. You'll learn something you can use at another workplace. One month isn't enough to be exceptional at using the new tool, but it's long enough to have some valuable knowledge.

That's why if you are going to use the new library, language, or service for longer than one month, put it in your CV on the first day.

Isn't it too early?

It may be too early only in one situation. Are you looking for a new job right now? Will you update the CV and send it to recruiters right away? If yes, don't put the latest tech there. Don't lie.

On the other hand, if you need the CV someday in the next two years, update it right now. Otherwise, you may forget to add something to the CV.

But adding a new thing is not enough! Read the entire document and remove the irrelevant stuff or something you forgot how to use. The CV should document the skills you have right now, not list all of what you used to remember.

But don't you need to earn the right to claim you know something?

Not in your CV. There is no exam you have to pass to put any information in the CV (of course, unless you want to write about certification or a degree). The exam comes later, during the interview.

But don't try to write about things you have no clue about. During the interview, people may notice you don't know much about the technology listed in your CV. If it happens, you will be forever remembered as the person who lied. Don't be that person. Don't lie.

You should use every opportunity to update the CV. Have you learned something new? Are you going to use it for a few weeks in production? Update the CV. It is enough. That skill will be helpful for someone else one day. But also, be honest. Have you forgotten something you used three years ago? Remove it from the document.

And don't write about irrelevant skills. If you are looking for a machine learning engineer position, nobody cares about your Spring Framework experience. Even if you still remember how to use Spring Boot.

The CV has a function. It suggests what people can expect from you in the context of the position you are looking for.

You should update it as often as possible, even if you aren't looking for a new job. It will make you think about what you have to offer and whether it is still relevant. It's good to figure out you are getting left behind two years before looking for a new job. You still have time to fix the problem.

Also, if you want to remember everything you have ever learned, keep two CVs—one for you, with the laundry list of skills and technologies. And the public CV you keep curated and relevant for the recipients.

So, update your CV as soon and as often as you can. It may be too early, but it doesn't matter if you keep the document on your hard drive and don't show it to anyone. The CV has to be true only when you send it to someone. In the meantime, you can even write your goals there if it helps you achieve them.