There are two types of people in the world: those who like updating resumes (some might even say they enjoy it) and those who despise it. Regardless of this reality, maintaining an updated resume is something that all working professionals need to do whether they like it or not. After all, you never know when you’re going to need a current copy, and besides, it’s always good to have a running list of what you’ve accomplished in your career. For those of you who enjoy resume updating, this list could serve as a simple “change in routine” or opportunity to try other tactics. But for those who loathe the task, this list could potentially adjust your views on the necessary responsibility.
- New job? Then it’s time for an update.I’ve found that updating my resume as soon as I have a change in my job title makes the process much less daunting later down the road. You will have much less to edit which makes the process that much less stressful. If you don’t have access to your job description, jot down a few things that you’ve been working on recently and what projects you will be responsible for down the line. You can always go back and edit the description and you will have something to work with if you need to make any major changes.
- Scribble down career wins, compliments from your boss and clients, etc.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the first one; writing down accomplishments, milestones, skills learned and compliments can make updating a resume a walk in the park. Whether you’re updating a job description or the skills section, you’ll have an arsenal of positive notes about your job performance to refer back to. I always try to write down a few “small wins” daily. This exercise also makes for a great tool to check your job performance and see what you excel at and what you can improve on.
- Have three pairs of fresh eyes read it. Seriously, three pairs.
This is a classic piece of advice that I’m sure everyone has heard before, but it still rings true. Each person will be able to provide you with valuable feedback that can help you improve your resume in ways you didn’t think of. Also, if anything, please have others read it for grammar purposes; no hiring representative likes to read present-tense verbs when they should be past tense or “affect” instead of “effect”. Also, there are tons of websites that are filled to the brim with career and resume advice, such as Monster.com and Glassdoor.com. The more you know about what employers are looking for when it comes to resumes the better.
- Upgrade your language, too.
You shouldn’t just update your job title and description; you should spruce up your language as well. Use words such as ‘conceptualized’, ‘directed’, ‘improved ‘and ‘initiated’ instead of ‘responsible for’, ‘worked on’, ‘detail-oriented’, or ‘hardworking’. Don’t get me wrong- those last words are great ones to use, but I think we can all agree that slightly more descriptive and powerful words might stand out to a potential employer more.