September is International Update Your Resume Month!
The month of September has been designated International Update Your Resume Month by Career Directors International and the National Resume Writers’ Association.
Now that you know… why not dust your resume off - open up that file folder on your computer marked ‘Resume’ and take another look at it? You may not be looking for a job right now, or anytime soon; however, it is always beneficial to have an updated resume. Promotion and job opportunities usually come up when we are not as prepared as we would like to be, and then find ourselves scrambling for information to put on our resume. Unforeseen company changes can happen to anyone. Be prepared with a resume that speaks to your ‘value add’ to your company…or a new company.
Let me help you here…if your resume still has an ‘Objective’ statement at the top - or “References provided upon request’ at the bottom… then it is past time to update your resume.
Here are 7 tips to help you update your resume….
- New Job: do you have a new job or two to list? Add in your new jobs with titles, dates, and 3-4 accomplishments. Review your entire resume to make sure all jobs are relevant - it may be time to take off that entry level job from 1993?
- Make a list of new skills that you have learned. Have you increased your social media skills; learned new computer programs or software; become proficient at handling a new piece of equipment or mastered a process?
- Have you attended workshops, webinars, podcasts, or conferences where you learned new skills or were taught a new way of doing something? This can include interpersonal skills such as ‘communicating with customers’ or ‘conflict resolution’? Make sure to annotate the title of the event, the dates, and the sponsoring organization or agency.
- Have you been asked to speak or represent your company at an event or conference? Did you create a presentation or briefing? Have you contributed to a company/national/international publication or written an article on an industry-related topic? Or perhaps, you were part of a team that wrote/developed/created something. You may do these tasks and not realize the value they represent to a future employer.
- Include any new honors, awards, certificates, or licenses. These are key elements that set you apart from your competition.
- Did you get a ‘glowing’ or ‘excellent’ evaluation? Add a supervisor’s quote or reference ‘excellent evaluations’ in your resume.
- Were you asked to lead a project or team? Highlight your leadership roles to demonstrate increased responsibility. Remember a leadership role can also occur outside of work.
Save Time: Keep a running list of your accomplishments, new skills, certificates, achievements, and kudos throughout the year. You are then prepared to update your resume at any time! In the industry, we call this a ‘brag book’.
Moving Forward: Take this time not just to review your current resume for updates, but to take stock and reevaluate your career growth.
- Learn a new skill to add to your resume in the future. Consider earning a new certificate that develops or enhances a skillset. Even outside interests such as photography, blogging, or coaching demonstrate personal development.
- Updated resumes are a great tool for discussing a salary increase. If you are like the majority of employees who did not negotiate an initial job offer, an updated resume helps provide ‘talking points’ to discuss future raises.
- Start a part-time ‘gig’. Consider consulting as a ‘side job’ if you have a very high level of expertise in your field and do not have a non-compete clause in your contract.
Don’t forget to add all of your newly discovered information to your LinkedIn profile!
I’d love to hear from you. How often do you update your resume?