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How to Take Advantage of “International Update Your Resume” Month

By September 14, 2018February 4th, 2019Career Tips, Job Search Tips, Resumes

September is international “Update Your Resume” month! Many professionals are aware of the importance of a professional resume, but often forget to keep their resume up-to-date.

A demanding career or a job you’re well settled into can keep you from regularly updating your career documents. As more time elapses, it can get a lot harder to recall all of your achievements, so the best time to update your resume is this month!

An updated resume should always be available for a variety of reasons — if there is an immediate opportunity up for grabs, your ideal job comes along, or if there is an unfortunate event at the workplace.  Whether you are looking for a transition or an advancement in your career, it is best to be prepared by having your resume ready to go.

If the last time you updated your resume was more than six months ago or when you applied for your current position (which could be a few years ago!), it is time to dust it off and make it shine.

Here’s what you should be doing right now to vamp up your resume:

  1.  List your accomplishments and achievements

Now is the time to blow your own trumpet! Without thinking of being modest, list all that you have achieved since your last resume update.  A good way to start is by thinking backwards — work your way from the current projects all the way back to when you started your role. This will alleviate the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start.

Use dynamic action words to describe yourself. Are you a proactive project manager? A problem-solver? An innovative designer? If so, call yourself out in the resume. This makes your personal brand effective and powerful.

Hiring managers are fond of seeing things that are quantifiable or measurable on the resume. Did you increase sales by 15%? Did you reduce supply chain overheads by a certain $ amount? Did you reduce product shipment dispatch time by 2 weeks? Great!  Backing up your accomplishments with a number will make you stand out from the crowd. Also remember to include why or how  you did these things.

From your recent past, think of any awards you have received, professional training you have attended or certifications you now have to your credit. Additionally, also add any relevant volunteer experience to your resume.

  1. Decide what to put in and what to leave out

Your resume is your personal brand and so it is vital to include relevant information related to your profession. At the same time, it is important to exclude irrelevant experience that does not resonate with your current career profile.

When eliminating details from your resume begin with examining your work history. Do you still need to list specifications of a job you had 15 years ago? If it is not relevant to your current career target, omit it.

On the same lines, parse through the job description and responsibilities of past jobs and shorten them based on their current relevance. At the end of the day, your most recent experience requires the most attention.

Updating the content of the resume also necessitates that you update the look and feel of the resume. Avoid the use of pre-formatted templates and graphics. Instead, use simple bullet points for your accomplishments and have a section for your core competencies/expertise to make your resume look clean and fresh.

It is also best to keep your resume ready in different formats such as pdf, text only and Microsoft Word. Also, create a version of your resume that meets the requirement of the ATS system. You can learn more here:

Here are 10 recommendations to update your resume this month:

  1. Check your contact information to see if the address and phone number is accurate
  2. Ensure your email address is professional
  3. Include graduation date only if recent or you lack substantial work experience
  4. Include your personalised LinkedIn profile URL on the resume
  5. Rewrite the summary section to reflect your most current capabilities and achievements
  6. Update your current position with your core skills and achievements
  7. Remove any redundant information
  8. Make sure to check that the font is cohesive and formatting consistent throughout the resume
  9. Be clear and concise on the image you want to portray on your resume
  10. Proof-read, proof-read and proof-read some more!

Did you know that resume writing is an unregulated industry here in Australia? That’s right! Anyone can put their hand up and say they are a resume writer so ask potential writers for their industry credentials and check the quality of their work. There are LOTS of resume writers out there but many use Google templates and cookie-cutter resumes!

You can find a certified professional résumé writer on the Career Directors International website – or through industry associations that certify professional résumé writers.

To learn more about my unique industry credentials and background, follow this link: 

Author Carolyn Whitfield

6X TORI-Winning, Multi-Certified Resume Master & Coach ★ 12+ Yrs Expertise ★ 98% Client Interview-Winning Success Rate. As an executive resume expert who has carved a strong reputation in the resume industry, I’ve helped thousands of rising stars and executives worldwide ascend to the next step on the career ladder.

More posts by Carolyn Whitfield

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