As days start to get shorter, kids go back to school, and for those of you in the federal sector, the fiscal year draws to a close, it’s a great time for adults to take stock as well. This September marks the 18th year of Update Your Resume Month—a perfect time for all of us to think about our career achievements over the past year and make notes for updating our resumes.
Here are some prompts to help get you started on updating your resume:
1. What have you done at your current job that helped your employer save money, make money, or become more efficient and productive? Write down quantifiable numbers in either dollar signs or percentages.
2. What conferences or significant training did you attend? Include workshop titles, dates, city, and name of sponsoring organization. Remember to save the certificates of attendance.
3. List certifications, licenses, or degrees earned.
4. Include awards or honors.
5. List new computer skills learned. Don’t forget to include the names of any proprietary software used in your industry.
6. Were you a speaker at an industry event or were you published? If so, include these on your list.
7. Additional accomplishments: List the names of any major accounts you landed, customer service satisfaction ratings, mergers & acquisitions, capital improvement projects, positive publicity, promotions, professional organizations joined, or anything not mentioned above.
Even if you are not currently in the job market, you should always have an updated resume. Take a look at your existing resume. Are you still using the same email address? What about phone number? Do you still have the same employer? If not, these things should be changed right away. And is all of your existing accomplishments and content still relevant? It is time (actually past time) to remove references to Y2K, Hurricane Katrina, and other outdated information. Remember, most employers are primarily interested in your past 10 years of employment and achievements.
After you have updated your resume, don’t forget to check in with your references. While references do not belong on the resume itself, you should have a reference page. Make sure your references’ information—emails and phone numbers—are up-to-date and that they are still willing to be a reference for you if needed. Finally, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts. You want to be sure to put your best foot forward—wherever potential employers might be looking!