Career Directors International (CDI) has declared September as International Update Your Resume Month to emphasize the importance of having an updated resume ready. Personally, I couldn’t agree more.
September marks the start of another phase. Fall is just around the corner and the kids are back to school, and that gives us more time to focus on our career or job-hunting efforts.
Why is this important, you ask?
Well, let me ask you, “When did you last update your resume?” I’m guessing your answer would be something along the lines of, “When I last looked for a job.” But now that you have a job (full time, part time or freelance), you have a new job title, responsibilities, projects handled, and hopefully achievements that could be added to spice up your resume.
If you still don’t have a job even if you’ve already applied for every position imaginable, then you have to wonder… Is there something you’re doing wrong? Is there something wrong in your resume, something you’re oblivious to, but is a clear bad sign for recruiters?
Still not convinced? Let me give you a few scenarios…
Scenario A: The Unexpected Golden Egg
So you’re having lunch, then a friend emails you about an opening for a position in their company–a position you’ve been eyeing for years! Of course, you’re not the only one eyeing that job, so your friend tells you to send your resume–and quick–because the interviews will start ASAP!
Don’t be that guy who loses an opportunity of a lifetime because he sends an outdated, half-baked resume just to make the cutoff.
Scenario B: Company Cuts Corners a la 2008 Financial Crisis
Yes, the economy is slowly bouncing back after the last financial crisis, but some industries are still downsizing. What if you wake up tomorrow and realize that your company is in distress? You have to leave before the boat sinks, right? But how are you going to leave if you don’t have a polished resume to send out? Of course, you can’t send the resume you used two jobs ago!
And really, do you want the added worry of not having an updated resume on top of everything that’s happening around you?
Scenario C: I want a Raise but My Boss Just Doesn’t Get it
The annual performance review is coming up, and you want to move to a higher position or at least get a significant raise.
What do you do?
Do you just come to the performance review and start negotiating for a raise? No. Unless you want to turn that negotiation to a battle of wills, that’s not what you should do.
Update your resume by including your job responsibilities and achievements in your current role, and then present it to your boss during the performance review to give him a sense of your contribution to the company.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, but if you update it now and continuously add to it throughout your career, you will be ahead of your competition who don’t even have a clear documentation of their contributions at work.