Tips for Updating Your Resume

I’m looking forward to the start of the new year. Things are finally looking up in the world of work. With employment opportunities on the rise, you'll want to be ready when that good job op comes your way, which may include updating your resume.

Tips for Updating Your Resume

Key to being ready for a new job is having your resume updated. When was the last time you worked on your resume? If you haven’t looked at it during the last six months, it’s time to dust it off and give it an upgrade — even if you’re not in job search mode.

I suggest having a master resume that holds all your career-related information. Think of your master resume as a record keeper. Let it grow over the years into as many pages as you need to hold all your info. Then, when you apply for a job, use your master resume to create a target resume that contains only what’s relevant to that job objective.

With your up-to-date master resume in hand, you’ll never have to scratch your head over what date something happened or the exact spelling of an employer’s name or other such details. It’s all there in your master resume!

What to Add to Your Resume, 2014 and Beyond

Here are things to think about adding to your master resume for 2014 (and each year after).

  • Jobs you held since the most recent one listed on your resume.
  • Achievements and projects you’re proud of.
  • Volunteer work that speaks to who you are as a human being and as a professional.
  • New degrees, certificates, workshops, seminars, and coursework that adds to your professional profile.
  • Awards and commendations that show that others value you.
  • Presentations and publications in your field.

References Available

As part of your good record keeping, maintain an ongoing reference sheet. Your reference sheet should be a document that’s separate from your resume. On it, create a list of potential references with their contact info. This list will come in handy down the road when you want to ask them to serve as references for your new job search.

Try to get each reference’s personal email address and phone number instead of his business contact info. That way, if your reference moves on to another company, you’ll be able to contact him. You might also connect with him through LinkedIn so you can stay in touch.

Ready, Set, Go!

Updating your resume is something that should be on your list of things to do on a regular basis. Things like changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, checking the oil in your car, and getting your sweetheart a gift on her birthday. If you update your master resume once a year (every six months would be even better), you’ll be ready to jump on a job opportunity when it comes up.