Updating Your Resume: It’s Not Just About Words & Phrases!
It’s September—and that means it’s “International Update Your Resume Month,” as proclaimed by one of the professional organizations I belong to, Career Directors International (CDI). The idea: To prompt professionals to keep their resumes fresh. Why? Well, there are some obvious and not so obvious reasons.
First, what’s top-of-mind: The job market no doubt, and if you are a job seeker, I don’t have to mention what the competition is like, so the questions comes down to: Is your resume telling the most compelling story it can? Does it look like it did 5 or 10 years ago? And probably the most difficult question to answer: “Is your resume going to jump off the pile, and be the “most attention-grabbing document” it needs to me? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
For those currently employed, let’s face it: The harsh realities of company downsizing are still there. You might also be growing disillusioned with your current position, and/or are seeking a career change. So, if a recruiter called you today with the perfect new position would your resume be updated and review-ready? Are you prepared and ready for new opportunities?
In my opinion, as a resume writer and as a career counselor, “updating your resume” particularly now, is about much more than just that. The resume development-process lends itself to an opportunity for self-assessment. In fact, I see this as imperative for those in any kind of career transition. With the harsh competition out there, job seekers have no choice but to create the most compelling and coherent professional picture. Your resume needs to convey, in very clear terms what is your value proposition and what is truly unique about what you bring to the table? Some people can articulate this fairly easy, but from my experience, most people cannot. And most resumes I see today do not do this!
The foundation for a great resume, and ultimately a successful job search is knowing yourself. When was the last time you gave any thought to your professional identity and what type of image you present? Many of the newly unemployed have been thrust into a situation where they are forced to re-evaluate their career path. Is this you? This assessment self-exploration process is crucial to helping you position and market yourself. When you go through the motions of re-assessing your professional (and personal) experiences, there’s often a deep self-analysis that happens—and not only can it transformed into a stronger and more compelling resume, but you will develop a greater facility at articulating who you are and what your value proposition is. It also helps to have an objective voice facilitate the process of recognizing and recording what are the most important elements that should be used to convey your value.
So, does your resume need a makeover, a “facelift” if you will? The 2009 job search is about standing out of the crowd. Maybe its time your resume got the attention it deserves, and you’ll be amazed at what you learn about yourself in the process.
In my work with clients to enhance, re-brand and re-position their resumes, most clients go through a comprehensive self-assessment process, to find out more, contact Donna@careerfolk.com