With people returning from their last vacations and children heading back to school, it’s the time of year where hiring begins to pick up in full force to fill any vacant roles before the holidays (and spend the hiring budgets). This is great news for all career professionals and an opportune moment to revisit your resume, especially if it’s been collecting dust for the last year or two (or 5 or 10).
Coincidentally, September was internationally designated as “Update Your Resume Month” by Career Directors International. In honor of this occasion, I’d like to share with you 6 reasons why cultivating a habit of updating your resume will maximize your career opportunities and empower you to exert greater control over your professional destiny.
When was the last time you truly took inventory of your achievements?
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily demands of everyday life and put career planning on the back burner. Whether you’re in college working part-time, entering your first job post-graduation, making a career change after several years, or working as a seasoned corporate veteran, being aware of what you’ve learned and accomplished will help you paint a clearer picture of what you’re capable of. This exercise can help you identify areas of improvement as well as those that differentiate you from others in your field.
Consider the following as you reflect on your career to date:
- What skills have you developed? What have you learned from each experience?
- What did you do well? Where could you improve?
- What achievements are you most proud of? What did you find most challenging?
By building a habit of revisiting your achievements at least once a year (preferably more often), you will put yourself in a stronger position to genuinely assess your career progress and better plan for the short- and long-term.
Decades of research and multiple studies have shown that one of the primary keys to happiness is knowing and understanding yourself. This same principle applies when evaluating your career progression.
- What types of environments do you enjoy working in?
- Do you prefer team-oriented settings, working independently, or both?
- What has worked for you in your career path? What hasn’t work?
- What types of projects are exciting for you? Which ones are not?
- How have you applied the lessons you’ve learned from each role to your career path?
You can truly learn a lot about yourself and what you want from a professional standpoint through a little self-reflection.
Internal promotions and other exciting opportunities can surface when we least expect it. And guess what? You will need a resume if you want to be considered. Save yourself the stress (and insanity) by having an updated resume that allows you to instantly act when new opportunities become available. A well-written resume takes hours to prepare. Don’t let a great opportunity be wasted by ignoring your resume until it’s too late.
Even if you’re not actively job searching or have any intention of moving on from your current company, recruiters are always on the lookout for your experience and skill set. In addition to recruiters, there’s always the possibility that you’ll come in contact with someone who wants to collaborate with you on a side project or has nominated you to share your expertise as a conference speaker. In both cases, the first thing they will ask for is a current resume.
Don’t put yourself in a situation that leaves you scrambling to fix up your resume and send in a hastily prepared and poorly written document that doesn’t reflect your true value.
All of the challenges you faced, results you delivered, and the lessons you learned can help you see patterns and thought processes that led you to make certain career choices. These insights can help you discover new career paths that you may not have ever considered which is especially important given that we live in a competitive economy where people are changing jobs at a faster rate than ever before.
Taking this approach can help you find new ways to adapt to an evolving job market and deliver greater value.
6) Always be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Let’s face it. There’s no such thing as job security anymore (and never was to begin with) and even great paying jobs can become mindless and disengaging after awhile.
No matter how stable you may feel in your current situation, you can just as easily find yourself facing an unwelcome change due to a merger, acquisition, or downsizing. According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, dismissal from work is ranked as one of the top 10 most stressful events in a person’s life.
Almost anyone who has ever job searched will tell you that finding a new job is a job on its own. By removing the added stress of having to update your resume on top of searching for a new job, you will set yourself up to get into your next job faster, while saving anywhere between $150 to $2,000 a day—depending on your annual salary—in lost income.
As Edna Mode from The Incredibles put it: “Luck favors the prepared.”
The Path to a Stronger Resume
If you’ve been struggling for some time to effectively communicate your unique value, credibility, and expertise, and the idea of looking at your resume one more time is about as appealing as going to the DMV, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Together, we can give your resume the splash of personality it needs to gain traction with employers, prevent interviews from slipping through the cracks, and provide a lifeline if the worst should happen.
Scientech Resumes works with clients in all industries and career-levels, with a specialization in professionals looking to pursue or advance a career in a science, technology, engineering, medical, or mathematics field. I am dedicated to working with those who want to make an investment in themselves. I know you’re great at what you do. Together, we can get you where you want to go with greater results. Get started today with a complimentary consultation!