When Was The Last Time You Updated Your Resume?


photo by Brian Armknecht

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It’s a new year and everyone is focusing on going to the gym and shedding the holiday pounds. It’s great to focus on your health because that is important but what about focusing on your resume and career?

When was the last time you updated your resume?

If you answered, “When I applied for my current job” then it’s probably a good idea update your resume. This might seem like a waste of time if you’re happy in your current position and are not looking to make a change but there are number of good reasons to have your resume ready to go.

Always be ready

It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job, things beyond your control can impact your employment status. For example, your employer might need to make budget cuts or your company gets acquired by another company etc. Another good reason to always have your resume up to date is that the best opportunities often come as a surprise. A friend might tell you about a role that is absolutely perfect for you but the application deadline is tomorrow. Having a current resume can save you time. Time that can be better spent preparing for interviews.

Five tips when updating your resume:

1. Make sure you don’t have an objective statement. Do you still have one? It’s time to delete it and create a more streamline/modern paragraph describing your career accomplishments and goals. Stay away from flowery generic language that can easily describe anyone in your field. Think short, clear sentences with facts and figures that are impressive. Remember, this is where you want to show off all your hard work and then add a sentence or two with any new goals that you might have.

2. Edit your experience sections. It’s really important to keep each section short and relevant to your career goals or the position you are currently applying to. I suggest 5 – 7 bullet points for each section. Also, read through all your points and make sure they are all still relevant to the job you want. If it is still relevant, then try to quantify your accomplishments. If it isn’t relevant, then delete it.

3. Quantify your accomplishments. This is where you want to include measurable value to demonstrate your performance. For example, “Successfully completed training a team of 10 staff on the new on-boarding software, saving the employer $50,000.”

4. Update the design of your resume. Don’t be tempted to copy some resume your saw online that used an unusual font and colourful graphics. All these fancy additions are usually a waste of time. Keep it simple.

5. Don’t include your full address. If you’re applying to jobs in another country, province or state, simply include your email address. Most recruiters will touch base via email anyway and you will have a better chance that a recruiter or hiring manager actually reads your resume and cover if they think you are a local applicant.

By freshening up your resume now, you will be able to respond quickly to career opportunities when they come your way. Good Luck!

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