Career planning is important in keeping your career moving forward and measuring your progress against your overall plan. One of the most valuable steps in your career plan is to keep your resume current.
If you are planning a midlife career change, having a well written resume that carefully lists your current accomplishments will allow you to quickly respond to possible new career opportunities. So now is the time to update your resume and put in place a process to periodically keep your resume current.
If you examine a copy of your old resume and compare it with the latest in writing resumes you’ll see that there have been a number of significant changes over the past ten years or so.
Currently marital status, hobbies (unless absolutely relevant to the position applied for), other personal information and references are not included. Also, listing a job objective is not longer standard but has been replaced by a skills or qualifications summary.
To often a resume writer falls in love with all the bells and whistles in their word processing program. Resist this temptation; you want the layout of your resume to be clean, easy to read and professional. No colors, pictures or multiple fonts.
Many employers now electronically scan resumes searching for keywords related to the specific job. Keywords are found by pulling nouns from the job announcement. Make sure the keywords appear naturally in your resume. Resumes that make the “cut,” are then reviewed by the recruiter for specific skills and qualifications.
If you haven’t kept an up-to-date atta-boy (girl) file with your career plan now is the time to reconstruct one. List all of you achievements, copies of your performance reviews, laudatory letters and emails and anything else which demonstrates your accomplishments.
Now quantify each accomplishment. Money saved, costs reduced, sales increased, projects completed on time under budget should be your starting point. When finished you should have more than three accomplishments for each position. List the top three or four on your resume for each job held in the last 10-15 years.
Take the balance of the accomplishments, put them aside and save to possibly use when you refocus your resume. Today in writing resumes you want to list accomplishments based on the needs of the employer, and if applying for a specific job opportunity you will want to tailor your resume to match as closely as possible to the needs of the job
If you have a friend who recently went through a successful job hunt you might want them to review your completed resume. Ask for feedback and then make appropriate changes.
Print out a number of copies of your finished resume on quality paper. You’ll now have a copy ready for the unexpected job opportunity. Moreover, you’ll have the basic outline with supporting information to tailor the document, if required, to meet the needs of a prospective employer.
If you keep your atta-boy (girl) file current updating your resume should be a relatively easy exercise. Of course you should update it whenever, you get a new job or position. If you move you should correct the contact information. Keep your resume and the supporting information current and you’ll be prepared for any possible career opportunity.