The motto “Be prepared,” isn’t just great advice for Boy Scouts; it’s also great career advice. You never know when the perfect career opportunity will present itself. If a recruiter called you today with your dream job, are you prepared to send out an up-to-date resume right away?
There are four critical times to update your resume:
* At least once a year
* Any time your career focus changes
* When you anticipate layoffs with your company
* When you begin to feel dissatisfied with your current position
1. Update your resume every year.
This is where many people fall short. When that recruiter calls with the perfect job, you may suddenly find your resume is years out of date, and you’ll have to scramble to catch up.
Keep your resume current by including your best accomplishments each year. Don’t count on your memory to recall everything you achieved in years past! You are likely to overlook critical achievements and contributions. If you need assistance, a resume coach may be able to help you through the process with some targeted questions on your most recent jobs.
2. Update your resume when your career focus changes.
If you want to change your career path, then you also need to change your resume. There are several ways to shift the focus away from your current job and toward your new career.
By focusing on the skills that will be useful in your new career, you can position yourself as a stronger candidate for the job. Highlight those transferable skills in your new resume, bringing them front and center.
In addition to highlighting your transferable skills, shift your list of accomplishments to support those skills. Accomplishment statements give credibility to transferable skills and prove your ability to cross industry or occupational lines. Well-crafted accomplishments make a big difference in whether you win the interview or are passed over.
Finally, be sure you understand your audience. As you s