From time to time it's good to update your resume, job reference sheet, and LinkedIn profile, even if you're not looking for a new job. What better time to do it than at the beginning of a new year?
Here are three checklists to help you out.
Update Your Resume
Even if you're not looking for a job, it's smart to keep your resume up to date, just in case you want to whip it out for an unexpected opportunity. It also helps you review your career progress and may serve as a gentle reminder for what projects and achievements you would like to set as your goals for the coming year.
Here's a checklist to update your resume:
- Edit your Heading section if any of your contact info has changed.
- Add any jobs to your Experience section.
- Change present-tense verbs to past tense in statements under jobs that are no longer current.
- Add promotions, projects, and responsibilities that you have achieved since you last updated your resume.
- Add new degrees, courses, seminars, or training to your Education section.
- List new skills you have acquired to your Skills section (if you include that section on your resume).
- Review your Summary section to make sure that info is current (for example, the number of years of experience might have increased).
- Within each resume section, review the order of bullet point statements to ensure that they are prioritized with the most relevant/impressive one first.
- Save the new updated version of your resume, making sure that it is in the .docx file format.
Also see: Tips for Updating Your Resume
Update Your Job Reference Sheet
A job reference sheet is a must for almost every job search. Be sure yours is ready to go by updating it from time to time (at least once a year).
Here's a checklist to update your job reference sheet:
- Review who's on your list. A good rule of thumb is to have three professional and two personal referees (people who will speak to a potential employer about your attributes).
- Remove any who are no longer available and replace them with new ones.
- Check that all contact info for your referees is correct.
- If you do not have LinkedIn URLs for some of your referees, do your best to see if they have a LinkedIn account so you can include that in the listing.
- List your referees in the best order, placing your best professional one at the top of your Professional section, and the best one at the top of your Personal section.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
You do have a LinkedIn profile, don't you? If not, consider starting an account. LinkedIn is one of the best tools for personal and professional networking. If you're in job search mode, it's a must-have.
Here's a checklist to update your LinkedIn profile:
- Review your LinkedIn profile and add any new jobs, projects, and achievements.
- Send an invitation to anyone from your current or past employment who you would like to add to your LinkedIn contact list.
- Write a recommendation for anyone on your list that you would like to support and with whom you would like to nurture a relationship.
- Request a written recommendation from those on your list who know you well.
- Check your job reference sheet to be sure that everyone on that list is one of your LinkedIn contacts (unless they are not on LinkedIn, of course).