Most working professionals update their resume when they are either unemployed, or ready to change jobs. Not that these are bad times to do it. However, these are times when you are either stressed, frustrated, or angry. None of which allows for clarity of thought. What does this mean? When updating your resume, many of your important accomplishments may not be reflected.
The best time to review and update your resume is on a quarterly basis, while you are employed. Over the last 3-6 months, have you wrapped up any assignments? Completed any projects? Acquired any new skills or certifications? If so, these should be added to your resume as accomplishment statements. When caught up in the fast pace of your work environment it is easy for days to turn into weeks, which turn into months. When you lift your head, two years have gone by and you do not remember what you have worked on. Here are two steps help you keep track:
- Start a "My Career Updates" document, and update it monthly with any completed assignments, projects, and certifications. Write them as accomplishment statements that follow the Situation, Task, Action, Result format.
- Schedule 90 minutes on your calendar, once per quarter, to update your resume. Swap in statements from the "My Career Updates" document.
Keeping an ongoing list of your accomplishments allows you to quickly and easily customize your resume. It also makes sure that your important accomplishments get reflected, and more importantly, noticed.