It’s that time of year again, the time when we suggest that EVERYONE pull out their resume, dust it off, and update it to reflect who you are today. Make sure that your summary of talents and accomplishments reflects the skills you want to offer moving forward, delete old/irrelevant jobs, and consider if there is a way to include something about yourself that adds a little color and brings you to life on the page. Then print a clean hard copy for safekeeping and file the soft copy where you can easily access it.
For those of you who like it step-by-step:
Step 1. FIND IT. You would be surprised how many people don’t have a current resume. (If you don’t have one, then make it priority to get one put together before the month is out. For help with this, you can go to our Resume Tips by clicking here.) Having a current resume is critical in today’s economy because it forces you to do the work to articulate who you are and what you have to offer as you talk about your future, consider project opportunities in your current job and, if need be, look for work.
Step 2. ASSESS – WOULD YOU HIRE YOU? Based on the way you have presented your accomplishments and your quantifiable achievements, would you be a good hire for an organization? If not, do you need to change the way you are framing your resume or do you need to take steps to broaden your skill set?
Step 3. CLARIFY THE BRAND THAT IS YOU. Does your resume highlight what you offer a potential employer or merely what you have done in the past? What do they get when they get YOU going forward? Does each section of your resume teach them who you are in the world and how you can be a solution in the workplace?
Step 4. SHOW IT. Ask someone, whose opinion you value, if you “pop” on the paper? Do you seem like a living, breathing person that would be of value to meet and work with? Ask them to be honest – not brutal, just honest.
Step 5. USE IT. Think of your resume as a living document, something that helps you stay clear about who you are so that as you are making decisions about opportunities in your current job you are accountable to yourself, as well as prepared if you want to start looking for a new job. Start a file that is easy to access where you can track new accomplishments and new skills to add to your resume when you pull it out next year. It’s wise to track this type of information since it’s often difficult to remember out of context.
Make “spring cleaning” an annual practice and you will always be prepared teach people who you are and what you want to offer to create success!