Monday, April 1, 2013

Springtime is Here - Update Your Resume

It is wonderful to get a new start on a job search by updating your resume.  Your resume should always be accurate, up-to-date and error free. Resumes can be used to secure a promotion, a new position or to get new customers. Just as you should never sit on your laurels, you should never sit on your resume. Instead always look for ways to improve your resume, make it better and keep it relevant.

spring, resume, update, job search, employee, entrepreneur
photo credit: scottkellum via photopin cc

The typical resume tells the story of how and where a person has worked over a period of time. Modern job searches are often done electronically so that an employer does not see the applicant, but instead looks at a dozens or even hundreds of resumes that come across a computer screen.  In order to be successful in the modern job hunting environment, it is crucial that applicants find ways to make their resumes stand out from others.

Normally  a person who prepares a resume is an employee who is looking for a new job. Another popular source for resume  creation is people who are hoping for promotions at their current places of employment. If you are an individual who is looking for a job be sure your resume, at a minimum has the following information:
  • list of names and locations of places worked for the past ten years if possible
  • detail the duties done for prior employers
  • give information on projects successfully completed
  • descriptions tailored to the job requirements of the types of positions you are seeking
  • highlight special accomplishments including money saved for employers, sales quotas exceeded and special awards won
Another group of individuals that should keep an up-to-date resume on hand is entrepreneurs. The resume of an entrepreneur will differ from that of an employee searching for a new job. For example, an entrepreneur's resume will normally have only one job, the entrepreneurs current business. The typical entrepreneur should have a resume, not to seek a new job, but to highlight work done in order to impress future clients or potential venture partners. If you are an entrepreneur preparing a resume, be sure your resume at a minimum has the following information:
  • list of projects successfully completed for clients
  • names and locations of clients for who work has been done
  • a detailed listing of awards won
  • select social media mentions
Whether you are an employee seeking a promotion or new job or an entrepreneur  hoping to gain new clients please remember to use CUPS when reviewing your resume. CUPS is a proofreading method taught to elementary school students that remains useful and relevant throughout life. CUPS stands for:

Underlining or emphasis

This means you should always make sure that the proper words are capitalized. There are rules for capitalization, do not capitalize just for style. Use appropriate underlying, italics and bold in your resume to add emphasis where appropriate. Punctuation is important because a misplaced period or common can change the meaning of a statement or phrase. Finally, be sure to carefully check your spelling. Spelling mistakes make your claims that you are detailed oriented or pay attention to details appear to be lies. Proofreading is an important part of the resume updating process. One of the easiest ways to make a poor impression on potential employers or potential clients is to have a resume full of grammatical errors, poor spelling or improper capitalization.  Everyone has heard the expression, "You never get a second chance to make a first reaction." In this digital age, with employers having resumes delivered to their in boxes twenty-four hours a day, resumes with errors are quickly and easily tossed into an electronic wastebasket.

Photo Credit: Janeane Davis Wonderful Wednesday update your resume

Once the resume is written, work is not done. You should think of your resume as a living breathing thing. It needs to be updated, tweaked, fine tuned and carefully nurtured. Once you create your resume, store it electronically and be sure to pull it out and look at it at least once a season. When you do this seasonal review, make sure you include any new honors, awards and achievements. When possible change the wording you use to fit new vocabularies and terms of art in your industry.

In conclusion, it is important to keep your resume up-to-date at all times so that you are ready to hand it over to a potential employer or business contact at any time. So, the question for you this wonderful day is, when was the last time you updated your resume?

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