Keeping your resume current is important to your continued career development. But unless you’re actively looking for a job, the daily demands of life, home and work can easily push this updating process down on your priority list. If you haven’t reviewed your resume in over a year, here are just a few good reasons why you should take a fresh look at it:
- Even if you’re currently employed, you never know when an attractive job opening may present itself. A current resume can help you capitalize on an unexpected opportunity – before someone else has the chance.
- Over time, your important achievements and contributions may be forgotten. Regular updating ensures that critical, measurable accomplishments are accurately recorded.
- In many cases, your resume creates a first and lasting impression on a potential employer. Make sure it’s a good one. By periodically reviewing and honing your resume, you can create a more powerful marketing tool that accurately and favorably represents you as a professional.
Use these tips to make your resume update simple and comprehensive:
- Review personal information (address, e-mail, LinkedIn URL, etc.) to ensure everything is up-to-date.
- Review your oldest job. If it’s no longer relevant, and you have at least 10 years of documented work history without it, remove it.
- Update your responsibilities and accomplishments. Consider the following: special projects; new expertise developed or job responsibilities awarded; knowledge or skills enhancement from special training or professional development; awards or other recognition; challenges you faced and solutions developed; measurable results you helped achieved (e.g., eliminating process inefficiencies, increasing productivity or sales, improving staffing or operational performance, etc.).
- Revist your objective statement. If it is not in line with your current career aspirations, rewrite it. The statement can be general, but should show some direction toward the field in which you want to work.
- Reevaluate your references. Verify that these individuals still work where you have noted and that contact information for each is correct. If you have developed new contacts who can attest to your recent achievements or heightened responsibility, consider replacing them with outdated references.
- Update your resume format. Check online sample resumes to see if yours looks outdated and revise accordingly. Additionally, you should create an electronic version of your resume if you don’t already have one.
- Proofread everything. Sloppy spelling, grammar and punctuation may take you out of the running immediately. If you’re not proficient in proofreading, ask a trusted friend or associate to help.
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