How NOT Updating Your Resume Regularly Can Really Hurt You
When is the last time you updated your resume? If it’s been more than a year, I’d say, it’s time.
One of the biggest, frankly PITA issues (to my clients, not me!) that I see ALL the time, is this: they’ve done so much in their work since they last updated their resumes, that they hit one or all of these 3 major stumbling blocks when they need to update their resume:
- It’s super time consuming to have to retrace their steps, re-contact colleagues, go searching through paper or computer files, etc. to try to dig up the needed details, especially the really important numbers that quantify results of their work in concrete, impressive ways.
RESULT: They either don’t have the time, so their resume & marketability suffer, or, the time it takes to search things out significantly delays their job search/resume rewrite completion time, and they may miss out on opportunities in the meantime
- They can no longer track down some of the most relevant details for various reasons, so some of their best work is essentially lost, as there’s no longer a ‘provable record’ of their effectiveness and thus, the strength of their resume and marketability suffers.
- They can’t remember enough of what they did & inevitably leave out key skills & projects that likely would have strengthened their resume and marketability.
(See what I’m saying here? Don’t shoot yourself in the foot!
These are all so easy to avoid, and much less painful!)
IMPORTANT NOTE: You do NOT need to be constantly reworking your actual resume. (Whew! Collective big exhale!)
All I’d strongly recommend you do is this: simply regularly update a list of key accomplishments, changes in duties, and important projects, so the vital content will be ready for you (and me, your professional resume writer who will put it all together for you!) when you need it.
You can jot notes, brainstormed, bullet point highlights, and/or keep a file of pertinent links & documents to track your career progress. Whatever style works for you.
Make it a monthly or quarterly task in your planner to update your career progress tracking list. You could even use your LinkedIn profile (mine is here, link with me!), which I think just needs to hit the basics, and mention a few interest catching highlights without providing details, to help you keep up to date. Just make sure all the needed details are kept somewhere safe, too. (Note: also best to back up any electronic records to personal files, not just kept things at work….just in case!)
Use these Key Categories as a Guide:
- Can include: CEU’s, degrees/certifications/certificates earned, mandatory company trainings/workshops, online or in-person courses or classes you take yourself
- Computer skills, communication skills, industry specific courses (EX’s: bringing technology into the classroom for teachers, social media marketing strategies for PR/marketing/sales folks, Employment Law seminars for Human Resource professionals, etc.)
Keep a list of the major projects you contributed to with pertinent details such as:
- Who were the key players in the project?
- What was your role? What did you contribute?
- How does this illustrate your skills & personal traits that made you successful at this project?
- What were the key positive outcomes/results for the company? Client/customer? Did you save money? Save time? Make a process more efficient (that then saves time and/or money (staff hours/other resources)
- Quantify any of these results NOW, while it’s fresh in your mind, or, if the outcomes won’t be known for a period of time, set a reminder in your calendar to follow up. (% of increased clients, $ amounts generated or saved, that sort of thing)
- Employee/Salesperson/Teacher (whatever) of the Month/Year/District etc.
- Any other award won by you, a team you were on, your department/company earned (Note the name of the award, who granted the award, when, pertinent details)
- Thank you notes, kudos on projects, promotions, praise written in emails, formal annual employee evaluations, feedback on trainings or programs you gave from the participants, etc. – keep track, these are great for resumes sometimes, including in cover letters to really grab attention, to bring as examples in work portfolios, etc. These can come from clients/customers, co-workers, bosses, other department heads, etc. It’s all good!
- Places you are published, written/oral interviews, board member requests, speaking for professional organizations, press coverage, any time you, your work, your company (in a way that involves you & your work) is noticed or called upon as the ‘expert’, keep track.
Want some help updating your resume?
Even (and especially if!) it’s been 5, 10 years or more, that’s what I do!