International Update Your Resume Month

Do you know that September is International Update Your Resume Month?

This is the 13th annual International Update Your Resume Month.
Career Directors International (CDI) established Update Your Resume Month in 2000 to bring awareness to the importance of having an effective and up to date resume. During Update Your Resume Month members of CDI reinforce the value of having a current resume as a necessary step in an individual's career development plan.

While I am not a member of CDI I agree that September is the perfect month to give your resume a little TLC. September is a natural time of transition as the school year starts for students of all ages, employees return to work after summer vacation, and individuals transition to work from school or parenting.

There are other natural times of transition as well - the new year, spring, or the end of a contract. Natural transitions are relatively easy to prepare for. I say "relatively" because we know about the natural transitions and can plan for them - that doesn't mean that doing the required work is easy. Unexpected transitions can be more challenging to plan and prepare for such as the presentation of a new opportunity when you least expect it or a change in personal or family situation.

While your resume is only one piece of your career development plan it is often the piece that is given the most attention. In my work with career transitioners and work searchers almost all of them initially approach me for resume assistance which can include updating, revising, or developing. When I start asking them questions about their employment situation, goals, interests, skills, education, and accomplishments we end up having much more to talk about than just their resume.

Have you heard the saying, "anything worth doing is worth doing right"? If you are going to have a resume you should have a fabulous resume and fabulous resumes take work. Don't wait for International Update Your Resume Month to create a resume that reflects you, your skills and accomplishments, and your value to an employer. Here are 5 easy steps that will help you to be ready for the expected and the unexpected transitions that you will need a resume for:

1. Keep a master resume. This will likely be a lengthy document that chronicles all of your skills, education, training and courses, community and volunteer involvement, job titles / employers / dates, responsibilities, special projects, accomplishments, and awards / recognition. Every time you take a course or get a promotion be sure to add it to your comprehensive resume. Pulling specific information for a targeted resume is much easier when you have all the information in one place.

2. Keep copies of jobs you apply for or are interested in. Job postings and job descriptions are excellent sources of information. They include professional attributes, skills, and job requirements that employers are looking for and can help you to build and target your resume.

3. Save your performance evaluations, thank you cards / emails, and documented recognition. What others appreciate, respect, and admire about you reflects your professional attributes and what makes you great at what you do. If you don't get a lot of feedback where you work ask your coworkers and people you volunteer with or participate in activities with if they would be willing to share their perceptions of you, with you.

4. Keep track of your accomplishments - the more detail the better. What benefit / value did your actions produce for your customer / client / patient, the public, your team or project, or the organization as a whole? If you did something you are proud of or you were recognized for then share that. A future employer will want to see proof of your skills in action and not just a list of duties and responsibilities. Remember CAR to help you frame your accomplishments: what was a challenge (C) I was faced with?; what action (A) did I take to overcome that challenge?; what was the result (R) of my action? Be as specific as possible.

5. "Wordle" your resume. Create a word cloud that visually represents the information in your resume. The largest words are the words that appear most frequently. If they don't reflect you and your value as an employee perhaps it is time for a resume overhaul and some self reflection to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities that best represent you!

Resumes take time and effort. Be prepared to present your resume to a future employer, or to your current employer for a promotion, by updating your resume today!

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." — John F. Kennedy

For a FREE 30 minute job search consultation please feel free to contact Paula directly at or 780.589.2245.