When someone reads your resume or LinkedIn profile, they form an opinion about you. These items can put you in contention for a great job or position you as a leading industry expert – or take you out of the running without the opportunity to explain yourself. While you can’t change history, you can shape perception by how you tell your professional story.
Why Keep Your Resume Current
It only takes about 30 minutes a month to update your resume and profile. By doing so, you remain ready when opportunity knocks, and you demonstrate your technical and career savvy.
- Present yourself as an expert. Speaking at conferences, publishing articles and being quoted in the media as a subject matter expert are great ways to grow yourself professionally. But when you pitch yourself for these opportunities, you need to be prepared to toot your own horn.
- Someone might want to nominate you. If a colleague recommends you for an award or honor, don’t sell them – or yourself – short. Avoid having to scramble to do a resume update or showing only a portion of your achievements.
- A promotion may open up at work. Even though your manager has first-hand experience of your work, company decision-makers may still want to see it on paper. Your updated resume ensures that you get your application submitted in a timely manner.
- You may have a “secret admirer.” Just because you’re not looking for work doesn’t mean it’s not looking for you. If a recruiter should call, you want to impress them by quickly providing current information. They may make an offer you can’t refuse or, at the very least, give you a nice confidence boost!
- The worst could happen. No matter how stellar you are at your job, a situation may arise where you’re let go. Then you have enough to think about without adding “update resume” to the list. By keeping it current, you’re just a cover letter away from bouncing back into the job market.
How to Keep Your Resume Current
Updating your resume doesn’t have to be time consuming or painful. In fact, it can be an enriching and satisfying task as it reminds you of how well you’re doing and how far you’ve come.
- Start at the end. Take a look at your current or most recent job. Is there anything new to add – workshops, certifications, awards or accomplishments? Remember to include statistics and measurable results that illustrate value added.
- Then jump to the bottom. Is that first job still relevant? If not, delete it and leave more space for current accomplishments. When you finish editing the most and least current information, work on the rest.
- Update your look. Your resume should look stylish and polished, not plain or dull. Consider which format is best for you at this point in your career. Make it available in several formats including text only, Microsoft Word and PDF.
- Proofread. Every time you edit a document, you introduce the possibility of a typo or error. You can’t be too careful or too thorough in proofreading.
A professional career coach can help you make your resume shine – and assist as you develop your short and long-term career pathway. Read our related posts or contact Employment Professionals Canada to learn more. As Ontario employment specialists, we understand what can help your resume stand out so you can find a great job in Ontario.