If you’re like most of us, it was the time you were applying for the job you’re currently in. Right now, your resume’s probably collecting virtual dust in your hard drive.
It’s always useful though to keep your resume up to date. You’ll never know when you will need it, or when an exciting job opportunity comes along.
We often think of our resume as just a piece of paper that is sent to potential employers as a screenshot of your employment history. In fact, the resume can be more useful for you than your employer. Let me tell you why:
1. Being An Expert About You
I know, we hate updating our resumes as much as we dread examinations. We procrastinate, we grumble about them, and we only get down to them a week before the deadline. Therefore, it is totally understandable why anyone would hate updating their resumes.
Well, think of updating your resume as revising your knowledge about you!
We all know how we may claim to know a lot about our subject right before the exam, but after the exam, we forget everything! Now imagine forgetting half the skills and achievements you have gained in your job! It would be a great injustice to ourselves to leave out all that hard work that we put in right?
So start updating that resume! Have your latest achievements at your fingertips, so that you will always know what to pitch to your listeners when they ask about you.
2. It’s Like a Regular Check-Up, But For Your Career
Revising your resume is like going to the doctor for a check-up. What you do not want is to realise at the end of the year that you have not spent your time developing yourself either professionally or personally, or worse that you are doing things that are not useful to your career prospects.
Therefore, even if you are not actively looking for a job, your resume works like a career health report card for yourself to check if you are staying relevant. The process of evaluating your employment history lets you know whether you are on the right path and getting good results. More importantly, it will help you see if you are focusing your time and effort on matters that are important to both your career and you.
3. Always Ready For The Next Opportunity
Remember those nasty pop quizzes you had in school that always caught you off guard? And right after them you would wish you were more prepared? Now imagine that these are not pop quizzes, but actually surprise job offers!
Opportunities may come knocking at your door at the least expected moment, such as at a friend’s dinner party or at a corporate event for your company. Your potential employer or professional contact may tell you to “Send me your resume tomorrow and I will refer you to Mr X.”
In that case, wouldn’t you want to make sure that you are ready to dash out those resumes?
Trying to piece together a resume in a hurry is never a good idea, as with anything done hastily. Trying to write a resume after you lost your job can be even more stressful and you may risk leaving out several important points that best represent you.
Set aside time regularly to update your resume, such as every quarter or every month. Write down the successes and lessons learnt during that period and rephrase them into skills or attributes in your resume. It is best to start updating when you are still employed and in the best frame of mind.
4. Stay Relevant And Concise
So perhaps you are the diligent type, and have always been keeping track of your career achievements. Good on you!
However, it is always good to do some “spring cleaning” on your resume once in a while. Every achievement may be important, but which ones are most relevant to your dream job and which ones demonstrate your capabilities best?
For example, saying that you were a medic in the army may be impressive and may click well with employers who appreciate employees with first aid skills, but this should not be included in your employment history if you have other more outstanding achievements.
To help you along, you can refer to recommended resumes online by resume writing services, or request for informational interviews from people in the industry that you would like to work in, preferably those working in HR. Seek advice on what are the trends in the industry and how you can improve your resume.
5. Keywords Are Key
An often neglected portion of writing resumes is the keywords you use. As much as we want to flaunt our vocabulary skills, the truth is that people are generally straightforward when it comes to searching for things online.
Therefore, insert searchable keywords into your resume and LinkedIn Profile so that employers can find you easily. Glance through the latest job descriptions to find what are some commonly used terms and tailor your resume accordingly.
6. One Is Never Enough
You may have an excellent resume, but it is also good to start creating different types of resumes for different purposes, with each one showcasing different aspects of your career history depending on whom you are sending it to.
For example, if you are teaching in a university, you may craft an academic resume that only highlights your key research areas and papers published, instead of your entire employment history.
If you do some freelancing or work for non-profit organisations, you can choose craft a resume that focuses on your previous freelance projects and other career interests besides your job.
If you found this article useful, you might also like:
- How to Write a Winning Resume: Your Ultimate CV Guide
- How to Write a Cover Letter: Your Ultimate Cover Letter Guide
- How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job
- List of Headhunters in Singapore
- Singapore Salary Guide for All Industries
- Complete List of Job Sites in Singapore
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