The month of September has been designated International Update Your Resume Month by Career Directors International. When was the last time you updated your resume? What changes can you make to your existing resume to make it stronger?
Here are several things to consider doing to ensure your resume knocks an employer’s socks off the next time you submit it:
Add conferences, workshops, and events you’ve attended. Include the title of the event, the titles of specific sessions you attended, the dates, the city, the name of the sponsoring organization, etc.
Include awards, honors, certificates, or licenses. Don’t be shy about boasting about past accomplishments! Just be sure to find the exact name and approximate date to list next to it on your resume.
List new skills you’ve learned. Do you have an ongoing list of the things you’re proficient at on your resume? These might be things like using computer programs, social media, blogging, search engine optimization, etc. They might also include more specific things you’ve been trained in that could be beneficial at another organization.
Highlight leadership roles. Have you recently taken on a role in a volunteer organization, at a nonprofit, or in an industry group? These leadership roles look great on your resume and show employers that you have interests outside of work. They also serve as a great way to further develop your career and skills.
Include authorships and speaking engagements. Have you written about your industry? Authored a book? Written articles published in outlets related to your field? Spoken at a conference? Show employers that you’re passionate about the industry and that you’re a thought leader by adding these achievements to your resume.
Don’t just limit updating your resume to when you’re job searching. Even if you have a job, you can take a few minutes every month or so to write down accomplishments and new skills to ensure you don’t forget to include them on your resume.
You could even put these new additions in your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio to refer back to when you need to create a new resume. You never know when you’ll need an updated version for another job opportunity—and this ensures you’re prepared for those opportunities should they arise.
How often do you update your resume? Do you have any tips or tricks to help other folks keep track of their accomplishments?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010) and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.