10 Things You Must Have Handy Before Updating Your Resume

ResumeUpdateJust like anything else, resumes have a lifecycle:

  1. You obsess over your resume
  2. You get a job
  3. You forget your resume

Then, all of a sudden, you need it updated right now for either a job opportunity that just comes along or your next job search.

But what most young careerists don’t realize: your resume can suffer from neglect. And when you need it most, it isn’t ready for you – and you aren’t ready for it!

The smart ones, though, realize there are some things you must gather and record proactively and thoughtfully throughout your career (and not just when your resume needs a refresh):

1. Staff reports

Staff reports will help remind you of the projects you worked on, the milestones achieved and the names of major customers (which come in handy for name-dropping later.

2. Budgets

Every recruiter and hiring manager wants to see quantified examples of your work. Budgets are a great place to start. For example, instead of saying “Worked on the Cheerios campaign.” you could impress far more by saying “Executed the Cheerios campaign with a total budget of $2.9 million.”

3. Performance Reviews

For many reasons, including quantified examples of your progress, the major achievements over the past year and having a record of your most marketable skills, keep a copy of every performance review. A bonus: Can’t remember your greatest strengths or weaknesses? They’re all in your performance reviews.

4. Kudos

In our “testimonial economy”, kudo emails, letters or notes from supervisors, colleagues, clients, or co-workers are critical record-keeping.

5. Project Plans

Any formal project management and goal-setting materials used to drive your work and its outcomes is critical when refreshing your resume. Here, you’ll find timelines, be reminded of co-workers and the vendors you worked with, and so much more.

6. Registrations

So you can proactively track major events and professional development, keep copies of registrations for conferences, workshops, training sessions, industry certifications, internal corporate learning university sessions, conventions, classes, etc. Each shows your progressive body of knowledge and influence.

7. Achievements

Keep a copy or a photo of any awards that you’ve received from your company, industry, peers, or supervisors. To be clear, this does not mean a $25 gift certificate to Applebee’s – we’re talking more about “Employee of the Month” or “Volunteer of the Year” kind of stuff.

8. Speaker and Author Credits

Keeping copies of contracts or programs where you’ve been a featured speaker, as well as copies of articles, whitepapers or blog posts you’ve authored are critical. Also, keep track of the Google+ Hangouts, Twitter chats and webinars where you have been a featured guest.

9. Speaker and Author Credits

Track every opportunity you had to volunteer in your community, for your industry or at company-sponsored events. Of particular note, track those campaigns where you served on a committee, led fund-raising efforts, etc.

10. Speaker and Author Credits

And, of course, keep documentation of any promotions, job title changes, or departmental shifts so you have exact dates and titles, quantified goals established, and more.

Having these pieces of information will make your life so much easier for future resume updates. So be kind to yourself: plan for future resume updates by having all of this info at the ready!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Pathfinder Writing and Career Services!




Dawn Rasmussen 3About the Author: Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is the president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, where she provides results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. She is the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 meeting professionals worldwide, and Talentzoo.com, a job resource site for creative and marketing professionals. Dawn is also a recognized career expert on Careerealism.com – a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog – and a regular contributor to TalentCulture.com’s weekly meeting #tchat on Twitter. Follow Dawn on Twitter!


Image courtesy of theoverturegroup.com. Thank you!



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