On the Job

How to keep your resume up-to-date

There’s a war for talent going on. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), over half of human resources professionals report having challenges finding talent. So, if you’re a job seeker right now, that can be a good thing because organizations are looking for qualified candidates.

However, it also means that, when a recruiter calls, you want to have your resume ready. Ruchi Kaushik, senior recruiter for Colonial Life, reminds us that you never know when you will need a resume.

“Maybe the perfect job opportunity (your dream job) opens up, or maybe you suddenly find yourself unemployed. By keeping your resume and LinkedIn profiles updated, you can hit the job search faster and make yourself visible quicker to recruiters.”

While we’re talking about opportunities, it’s common to think of resumes only when it comes to job search. But, resumes do more than get you a new job. Resumes are used for board positions, project teams, consulting proposals, etc. Even if you’re not looking to change jobs, having your resume in order is always a wise move.

3 Things to Remember When Looking at Your Resume

Before sharing some activities to keep your resume up-to-date, it’s important to know what to look for when you’re doing a regular resume review. First, resumes are a summary of your professional experience. Emphasis on the word “summary.” You don’t have to contain your resume to one page. And, you don’t have to list everything you’ve ever done. Focus on quality, not quantity.

Second, the one thing that will get your resume noticed are accomplishments. Make sure to keep track of what you’ve accomplished in your work history – it might be a project you worked on or a goal you achieved. Whenever possible, attach numbers to it. For example, “I reduced employee turnover by 50 percent.”

Lastly, check for typos and grammar. Kaushik points out the biggest mistake people make on their resumes is spelling mistakes and typos. “With spellcheck, people often overlook the simple mistakes and grammatical errors. Print out a copy of your resume, take a break and come back to read it with a fresh set of eyes, or have someone else read your resume.”

3 Activities to Keep Your Resume Current

Developing your resume takes a lot of work, regardless of whether you did it yourself or hired a professional resume writer. The last thing you should want is for your resume to get outdated. The good news is you don’t have to do much to keep it current. Here are three ways you can make sure your resume stays up-to-date.

  1. Schedule time to review your resume. The best time to work on your resume is when you don’t need to. Make a commitment to look at your resume once a quarter. Put a recurring appointment on your calendar. You don’t need to always update it, just review it. It only takes a few moments. If changes need to be made, then start working on those.
  2. Don’t forget your social resume! A social resume isn’t a “thing” as much as your online brand. Some people are calling it a visual resume. There are places where you can build an online presence like LinkedIn or About.me. Keep in mind that building a social presence takes time, but it’s worth it. Over 90 percent of recruiters use social media to find candidates.
  3. Update your bio on internal and external networks. Speaking of social, check your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and make sure your profile and/or bio is current. Maybe you have a certification to include or an updated profile picture. Don’t let your account look abandoned. This includes your internal work profiles on collaboration platforms and employee self-service portals.

Your resume is both an important document and image. Instead of pulling an all-nighter to get your resume in order, take a few moments to regularly review and update your resume and online presence. It will be easier on you and better for your professional brand. That translates into getting the opportunities you’re looking for.

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