Keeping a Resume Current: Don’t Just Wait Until You’re Job Searching

So most of us are guilty of this, myself included, we don’t keep our resumes up to date. We put it off for another day and another time. We say we will do it when we can and then simply add it to our growing list of things to do. But then it happens. We see a posting for our dream job, but the deadline is tomorrow. And then we are left scrambling to piece together an articulate accomplishments-based resume that will get us the interview, and hopefully the job. As many of us know from experience getting the interview is no easy feat and a last-minute resume that is pieced together in haste rarely does the trick.

The solution? There is no easy solution. It takes time and commitment. But here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful

1)     Keep a running list of your professional accomplishments (big projects, initiatives, or events)

2)     Be sure to track any volunteer work or projects that you’re working on

3)     Do some research on current trends for resumes

4)     Set aside some time in your calendar every quarter to update your resume

5)     Ask a colleague in your industry to have a look at your resume

6)     Make a one time investment and seek the professional input of a career advisor

7)     Be mindful of the job postings you are drawn to and the qualifications needed, ensure you are getting experience in these areas through professional or volunteer channels

8)     Make sure that you use results-based phrases throughout your resume

Although it can be time consuming and arduous, keeping your resume up to date helps you keep a running inventory of your accomplishments and skills and also prepares you for networking opportunities. It also cuts down the time you spend scrambling to put a resume together for a job that crosses your path. It also cuts down the anxiety of resume writing when you have no choice because having a base to work from is always better than starting from scratch. So with the New Year upon us, I challenge readers to dust off their resumes and get updating in 2013! Happy writing.

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