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July Is Here: Time To Update Your Resume (Here’s How)

Posted by | July 10, 2017 | Improve your resume, Resumes

Via Forbes : July Is Here: Time To Update Your Resume (Here’s How)

The first half of 2017 is behind us. That’s a milestone to stop and notice!

There is still plenty of time in 2017 to accomplish what you want to accomplish, but there is no time to waste!

I recommend that you pull out your resume this weekend and update it, whether you’re job-hunting or not.

Updating your resume is an important way to get altitude on your career and your job or job search.

Here are ten benefits of updating your resume now and then. Twice a year is the perfect frequency.

Once you know why you’re going through the resume-update process, dive into the list of ten resume-updating steps below.

Ten Reasons To Update Your Resume (Twice Per Year Is Ideal)

1. Good Exercise

2. To Sync Up with LinkedIn

3. To Capture Dragon-Slaying Stories

4. To Think over Possibilities

5. To Measure the Current

6. To Set Goals

7. To Learn about Your Company — Metrics and Priorities

8. To Compare Older Versions

9. To Get Ideas for your Portfolio and LinkedIn Profile

10. To Boost Your Mojo

It’s a healthy exercise to stop and look at where your job is headed — and where your career is headed, too.

We are almost always consumed with our To-Do lists. Reviewing your resume reminds you that your life and career are zooming by as you tick items off that list.

Each time you pull out your resume to update it, you should see two or three new items to add.

If you can’t think of one major accomplishment that you’ve collected during the past six months, that’s a sign that your job has outlived its usefulness to you.

You can’t afford to stand still. The real world is surging forward — so standing still career-wise is the same as sliding backward.

Once your update your resume you can easily make the same changes in your LinkedIn profile and keep these two essential branding vehicles in sync.

One of the most important reasons to update your resume is to refresh your resume with new Dragon-Slaying Stories. These are stories about times when you made a positive difference at work or somewhere else. You only need one Dragon-Slaying Story for the Summary at the top of your resume (and it is optional) and one or two stories for each of your past jobs.

If you have too many stories to include on one version of your resume, you can use a few stories in each of several versions of your resume. For instance, you can have one Customer Service version of your resume, one Marketing version and one version just for Sales opportunities.

Your LinkedIn profile will need to merge all these facets of you into one profile. That’s a good reason right there to pay attention to your resume and LinkedIn profile, at least twice per year.

When you take a moment to update your resume you will think about your current job. Does the job still meet your needs, apart from the paycheck? Maybe you could step up to a higher altitude in your new job — a job that uses more of your talents and maybe gives you more latitude and/or pays better than the job you have now.

Maybe it’s time to put a toe in the waters of independent consulting, by launching a part-time consulting business alongside your job or your job search.

‘Measuring the Current’ means taking a look at your current job and your movement in it. Are you still learning and growing professionally, and at the rate you want? Are you getting the recognition your accomplishments deserve?

Apart from the good feeling external recognition provides, it’s important to know that your contributions are valued appropriately. If they are not, you are wasting your time and talent in the wrong job.

When you update your resume you’ll review your goals. If you didn’t make goals for 2017, it’s not a big deal. You can set second-half goals right now. You can look further into the future and set 2018 if you want.

As you update your resume you will read it, too. You can’t help reading what you are writing. You may see that some of your favorite Dragon-Slaying Stories could use hard numbers or tangible successes associated with them. Business is an activity based in the real world.

It is not credible, much less impressive, to say “I helped our company launch a new product” unless you are in an entry-level role or unless you also tell the reader how well the product performed. We are expected to know how the pieces of the business apparatus fit together, and more so the higher we climb on the organizational chart.

As you re-read your resume you’ll see metrics or “proof points” that would give your resume heft if only you knew what they were and where to find them. Spotting a hole where a business result should be in your resume is a great “Aha!”

You will learn about your business, about its metrics and priorities, as you gain more and more altitude on your role and ask more probing questions at work.

Every time you update your resume, pull up an older version and compare the new and old. Shifts in your thinking, your career direction and your writing style will jump out at you. Be happy about the distance you’ve covered!

Updating your resume will give you ideas about powerful samples, images, presentations, videos, articles, podcasts and other media to upload to your LinkedIn profile and/or add to your online portfolio. You can create a real-life portfolio that showcases some of your cooler triumphs in hard copy form. Creating that portfolio is another great project to dive into this month!

Finally, updating your resume is a mojo-boosting experience if you take it seriously. You work hard. You are more than just a bundle of skills and certification. You are a vibrant and unique person with a story to tell!

How To Update Your Resume In Ten Steps

1. Pull up your resume and Save it as a new document, Resume Under Construction July 2017 or whatever you want to call it. You do not have to update your whole resume in one sitting. It’s a reflective exercise, so it’s best to take your time with it.

2. Think about your overall brand. How do you want the world (and any person who’s reading your resume, specifically) to see you? Is there a job title or family of job titles that captures the brand you are building? If so, that title should appear at the top of your resume Summary, just below your contact details.

3. Update your contact details if they have changed.

4. Read the Summary at the top of your resume several times. If you don’t have a Summary already, you can write one now! Keep in mind that the reader doesn’t want to hear your own opinion of your skills and strengths. They don’t know you. Give them a reason to want to talk with you — by talking about the problems you solve in your work.

5. Update the description of your current job by adding one or two powerful Dragon-Slaying Stories.

6. Get rid of any zombie language in your resume (“Results-oriented professional,” e.g.) that make you sound like a machine instead of a real person. Replace the zombie language with full sentences that describe not your tasks but rather how your work contributes to your employer’s success.

7. If your resume uses more than one font, take this opportunity to pick one font and stick with it. The days of fancy resumes are over — apart from creative folks who use their resumes to show their artistic and graphic design abilities.

8. If the time has come to let your oldest or least-relevant past job fall off your resume, then lop it off without regret. Long gone are the days when we needed to list every single job we’ve ever held on our resumes. Your resume is limited to one or two pages, so you may not have room for all the jobs you’ve held. That’s okay. Give us the most information about your current or most recent job, and less and less detail about each job before that.

9. You don’t have to use the starting and ending months at each of your past jobs when you update your resume. Just the year is enough. Your prospective new employer may need your starting and ending dates for a background check later in the process, but that information need not appear on your resume.

10. Finally, have a friend read through your resume to make sure it conveys what you want to say. Your resume will change as often as you do — which could be a regular thing! That’s okay. You are evolving, as you should!

Sample Resume Summary

Office Manager/HR Management

I’m an Office Manager with HR and Employee Relations experience. I thrive in a busy office where I’m supporting executives, looking after administrative processes and keeping the team well-informed and well-equipped for their assignments.

I’m comfortable with the MS Office suite along with newsletter creation, event planning, basic Quickbooks, vendor selection and Board meeting protocols. My goal is to make my employer’s systems as simple and nimble as possible and to keep customers, vendors and employees feeling valued and supported.

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