Hello September! The month the career services industry comes together to remind individuals at all levels to take stock of their career goals, skills, and experience and schedule some time to update their resume.
September is International Update Your Resume Month, is your resume up to date?
Let’s take a look at these critical elements on your resume that need updating.
In the past two decades as a professional resume writer, I’ve helped numerous professionals who believed they didn’t need to maintain an updated resume because they had a proven track record of success and would never be laid off; work was going well for them and they knew they had a future at their ‘then’ company; their company had faced economic downturn before and pulled through, or they thought they would close out their career and the company culture shifted leaving them scrambling for a plan B.
Unfortunately, the above scenarios happen all the time, and although you can update your resume anytime throughout the year, the month of September is a great time to review, modernize, and beef up your portfolio of employment documents – resume + LinkedIn profile.
The hustle and bustle of the summer months are coming to an end and employers are reviewing their manpower needs –with some clearing the deck to meet financial expectations before a new fiscal year begins.
September is International Update Your Resume Month – Checklist
Update these items on your Resume this September:
Now that you know why everyone should review + update their resume on a regular basis, read on to find out what you should dust off:
Optimize Your Opening
The top half of the first page of your resume should be optimized with your most compelling information.
– Review to ensure your contact information is up-to-date (current email address and phone number) and you’ve included a link to your LinkedIn profile.
– Replace that dull, boring, self-focused objective statement (Seeking a position where my leadership skills + experience …) with a concise statement outlining how your skills, experience, and industry expertise are the answer to your next employer’s needs. In this context, you are establishing your unique value proposition.
Identify + Highlight Your Competitive Advantage
A modern resume isn’t a simple list of employer names, job titles, and employment dates. It is a highlight reel of the value you bring to the table.
– Create a section to showcase your top accomplishments. This section is where you will articulate your unique benefits and advantages.
– Craft a few impactful bullet points that provide insight into past challenges you’ve faced and the results you’ve delivered. (In essence, you are highlighting your promise of value and how your level of success will far exceed the cost of hiring you.)
Review Your Employment Section
Your employment section needs to reinforce your brand message and promise of value. Replace general statements and big blocks of text with easy-to-skim passages and include changes in job title.
– Each employment stint should begin with a brief narrative (two or three sentences) followed by a few punchy bullet points that demonstrate how you’ve helped the organization make or save money, increase productivity, or reverse failing trends.
– Add new information: have you secured new accounts? Increased revenue or customer service ratings? Steered/completed projects? Expanded market share? Cut costs?
– Provide context by sharing the challenge you faced (stagnant sales); action you took (introduced new training processes); and the results you delivered (increased sales 12.5% within 3 months).
– Focus on quantifiable results you’ve delivered ($$$, %, timeframes).
Eliminate Old Entries
The modern guideline is to remove early career information that is more than 15 years old and has no bearing on your current career goals. Every entry should support your candidacy for the position you are in/targeting (remove outdated tools and technologies).
Include New Content
Make sure you’ve included any conferences you’ve attended, professional development courses taken, certificates earned, new honors and/or awards.
Tie It All Together
Make sure your document is employer ready!
– Review your word choice: remove personal pronouns, repeated verbs/phrases, and mixed tenses (current employment is present tense / older employment entries are past tense).
– For most, the document structure is: Name/Contact Information; Summary Statement; Highlight Reel; Employment Entries; Education + Professional Development.
– Check your social media profiles to ensure your messaging is consistent with your resume. Use your LinkedIn profile to share stories about helping your current organization reach their goals!
By taking a few minutes to maintain your resume + LinkedIn profile, you will be in a better position to respond to and recover from the unexpected! If nothing else, an updated resume will help you speak more confidently about your accomplishments in your annual performance review!
Don’t have time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile?
I can do the work for you! My certified master resume writing services cover your needs from “a to z”. Take a look at my package options and book a discovery call with me today! I’m excited to help you get the career of your dreams!
Cheering you on,