Time for a Resume Refresh!

We usually don’t think about updating our resumes until we’re starting a job search.  Then, we need to scramble to figure out what we’ve done that should be included.  Not smart!  The Boy Scouts were right – “Be Prepared!”

Camille Carboneau RobertsIn this guest post by Job-Hunt.org’s Federal Government Job Search Expert Camille Carboneau Roberts, founder of ccCareerServices, Camille offers reasons why none of us should wait until we know that we need an updated resume to actually start the updating process.

It’s Spring! Time to Dust Off Your Resume!

Springtime! What a pleasant season. It signals freshness and newness. Its arrival prompts us (or some of us, Editor’s note) to spring clean our homes, free our closets from woolen sweaters, and embark on new projects.

As you contemplate what you will accomplish this spring, make it a point to refresh your resume. In fact, make it a point to refresh your resume every season, at minimum. Why? Consider the following scenarios:

The early bird gets the worm.You like your work and are not job hunting, but your friend calls one morning and invites you to apply for a position that unexpectedly opened in his organization. The position is a great fit for you, and it pays more than you are currently making. They need to hire immediately, and your friend recommends you submit your resume as soon as you can. Unfortunately, you have not updated your resume in several years, and you will really need to hurry to pull together something solid. If only you had kept your resume updated!

The longer you wait, the less you will remember. You have been in your current position for several years, and you decide to start job hunting. You find your old resume and realize it does not include your last two positions. You begin racking your brain to remember details about your job duties and accomplishments and where you put that certificate or award. You dig through your file cabinet to find past performance appraisals, but you cannot locate them. You have no documentation of performance statistics, and find you are unable to write strong descriptions of your last two jobs. If only you had routinely updated your resume!

May I have a raise please? You may not be seeking new employment, but you would like a raise and a title upgrade. Your responsibilities have increased significantly in the last few years, but your title and salary have not kept pace. You approach your boss and s/he asks for a list of accomplishments. A detailed resume would be the perfect document to present. With an updated resume accurately reflecting your responsibilities, recent accomplishments, and awards, you have an effective tool to help negotiate a promotion.

Get with the times. You are not actively seeking a new position, but you like to keep your options open. Because you understand the need to be prepared, you revised your resume last year by adding new job duties and accomplishments to the write-up of your current position. You did not, however, update and refresh your resume to reflect today’s trending resume formats. Fashions come and go. Hot colors change every season. So do resume styles change. Research and modify the format to reflect what is au courant and rejuvenate your resume accordingly. Add some color. Find and include, as appropriate, the keywords that are used currently in your field or industry. Eliminate outdated terminology. Do this at the beginning of every season to keep your resume refreshed and updated. It will save you from having to be in a hurry when you really need it.

Hopefully you feel compelled to update your resume on a regular basis. Do not wait until you need it. Be prepared in advance because you never know when a perfect new opportunity might come along. This season, dust off your resume, update and refresh the content, and give it a fashionable new look.

Think spring, and think time to update your resume!

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© Copyright, 2012, Camille Carboneau Roberts. All rights reserved.

Camille Carboneau Roberts, Job-Hunt.org’s Federal Government Job Search Expert is founder of ccCareerServices and has been helping job seekers with their resumes and the federal job search process since 1989.

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