Updating your resume doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. Most commonly I see people updating their resume when they need it. That’s great for making sure the information is specific to the role you’re applying for. On the other hand, it’s often easier to keep track of and record new information on your resume as it happens. Doing this regularly means you have a current resume ready to go when an unexpected opportunity comes along. Whatever your situation right now, here are six quick ways I recommend for getting your resume up to date.
1. Include your current role
Usually people begin a new role with a new organisation and don’t need a resume for a while. This means that adding your current role is often the most obvious thing to do when updating your resume. If you have been with the same organisation for a longer period, you might even have multiple roles to add. Don’t forget to include any acting positions, project roles or secondments you’ve taken on as well.
2. Focus on achievements
Achievement is one of the things that can make your resume stand out to employers and recruiters. Instead of just listing job titles and skills, focus on your achievements. What have you delivered? Where have you exceeded expectations? How can you demonstrate successful outcomes? This applies to both your current and previous roles. Choose examples that highlight your strengths and your ability to deliver. Sometimes it can be hard to think of examples of your achievements when you’re putting together an application. Therefore, it might be easier to record achievements as they happen. That way you are less likely to miss any. Plus, you can always take some out for a specific application if they’re not relevant.
3. Add any new skills or qualifications
Think about what new skills or qualifications you can add to your resume. It might be on the job skills development or training in a specific skill set. Perhaps you have gained a certification or become accredited in a particular area. Or it might be further education with a tertiary institution. Whatever it is, ensure you update your resume to reflect any new skills or qualifications.
4. Refresh your professional development
If you are including professional development on your resume, the key is to make sure it is both relevant and current. You don’t need to include every professional development activity you have done. Including a handful of recent events you have attended or training you have undertaken can be beneficial. First, it can show your involvement with your industry. Second, it can show your commitment to ongoing learning and a willingness to grow your skills. However, professional development information can date quickly, so make sure you keep this part of your resume refreshed and up to date.
5. Revise memberships and volunteer roles
Professional memberships and volunteer roles, especially on boards and committees, can be a valuable addition to your resume. However, it can be easy to overlook updating these. Checking that periods and levels of membership are accurate is the main thing to look for here. Similarly, with volunteer roles make sure the information still reflects what you do. Have you taken on additional responsibilities, for example? A quick check every so often can make sure that this information stays up to date.
6. Update the design
One little change that can make a big difference is updating your resume design. There are plenty of templates available to make this simple. Choose something clear and crisp that’s easy to read. Make sure the font is a suitable style, size and colour for reading on screen and also if your resume is printed. Don’t feel you need to do this too often. Content is, of course, more important than how your resume looks. However, particularly if you haven’t needed a resume for a while, a fresh design can quickly update the look and feel of your resume.
How many of these six tips have you used before? I hope you’ve found something useful to help you keep your resume in shape. If you follow these suggestions and update your resume regularly, you’ll be that little bit more prepared the next time opportunity knocks.