With the doldrums of Summer hiring behind us, Fall is a great time to update your resume. Labor Day to Thanksgiving is typically an active interview season. Don’t be late when opportunity knocks. If you haven’t updated your resume in the past year the following four steps will help you bring your resume up to date with new focus and polish.
1. Identify your new career objection.
If you’re dissatisfied with your current job this is the time to ask why. Before making any changes to your resume ask yourself the following questions:
* What part of my job would you rather not do in my next position?
* What skills, tasks or responsibilities would I like to continue in my next job?
* What other industry might I use my skills?
* What other occupation might I apply my skills?
Your response to these questions will shed light on the changes in your career path. Write out your answers and do a reality check to see how likely you are to obtain your new career direction.
2. Get rid of the old to make room for the new information.
Your new resume should reflect your current career direction. The first resume rule says that everything within your resume should relate to your career direction. This means you may need to delete information about outdated technology. You may also need to weed out old responsibilities that you no longer want to perform. If your resume includes special training or certifications that are no longer needed take them off as well.
Additionally, check your accomplishments from earlier years. If they do not support your career objection either delete or adjust them to relate. You might even need to take off your earliest employment entries if they represent a completely different career path.
3. Add your most recent employment entry.
Write your current employment entry in light of your new career focus. Do not include responsibilities that you do not wish to perform in your next job. Include only what you want to continue to do. Use job postings as a guide for key words that you’ll need to use as verbiage. Job postings also provide clues to transferable skills, technology and education that you’ll want to include.
4. Add the final touch, accomplishments.
No resume is complete without accomplishments. They are the talking points of your resume. Even if the past year hasn’t been as productive or positive as the past, find something to brag about. Think back on the challenges of the past year and how you solved them. Did you find a way to save time, cut costs or improve performance? Those are your accomplishments. They tell perspective employers that you are a problem solver for today’s difficult business environment. If your goal is an internal promotion your accomplishments remind your employer of the value you bring to the organization.
Once you’ve updated your resume you’ll be ready for any opportunity that comes your way. This may be your season for advancement, change or transition—get ready for it!
Deborah Walker, CCMC
Certified Career Management Coach
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