Are you ready to eat your resume update? (Photo via The Urban Muse)
Do you groan when you realize you have to update your resume “after” you decide to leave the company you worked in for over 10 years?
Even if you worked at the job a short while you likely did many great things.
You may find yourself trying to remember all the details.
Why in the world would you want to make life harder than it has to?
Take some initiative and update your resume weekly, monthly or yearly so you can avoid the last minute stress and rush to do it when you desperately need it.
Here are several reasons why:
1. Stay On Top of Yourself
If you’ve ever felt the rush of warmth that comes with reviewing your own accomplishments then you know why you have to be your own best historian (biographer).
You have to play mind games with yourself — you can be your own worst enemy after all.
By remembering, writing and reading about your current successes so far you can stay motivated and inspired.
And the key to winning the game of life is your will to keep going.
Positivity and resilience (both if possible).
2. Get a Grip on Your Situation
If you’ve ever felt like you’re going nowhere then maybe it’s time to do your own “personal” evaluation.
Call it your monthly check: “decide if this job or project is really helping me do [fill in the blank] or become better as a [fill in the blank]“.
If you find yourself missing real successes that you’re proud of or that would advance your career (the cake, the cake, the content) then maybe it’s time to look for a job where you can really push yourself with the right challenges.
By doing this “check your situation” out process, you’ll realize if there are successes you need to have to do what you want to do.
After all, how will you know unless you’re taking a good hard look to see the “gaps”?
3. Write Your Next Resume and Cover Letter Better
This is where you all start to groan.
You want it to be perfect and you want to avoid doing so much work that you start to panic (because you’re still doing your current day job).
This is why you record your latest or recent accomplishments while they’re fresh in your head and get others to say good things about you while it’s still fresh in their heads.
Fresh in Your Head
Get down the details like a reporter right after you’ve finished the big project, launched the web site, etc.
Do it while it’s fresh in your head.
The longer you take to do it the less you’ll remember about the details (of course).
Use a voice recording, jot notes, do a painting or create a spreadsheet.
Get the information down somehow — everything.
Fresh in Their Heads
You’ll find this to be priceless if you put the effort here.
You learn what you did well and what you didn’t do well.
Get it in writing and while you’re at it get them to give you a LinkedIn recommendation.
If you want to make life easier you could just give them a paragraph saying what they thought of your success, ask them to edit it and sign off.
The easier you make it for them, the more likely you get it done.
If you’re asking bosses and managers tell them you’re just building up a “brag book” for motivation and inspiration.
It cleverly reminds them about what you did and you may inspire them to build their own.
It also helps to avoid any unpleasantness in the future if you really are looking for a job (because you’ll already have their testimonial) and don’t want them to know about it.
4. Write Your Next Resume and Cover Letter Faster
Of course getting the information ahead of time means that when you need that resume and cover letter done – you will do it a lot faster.
You’ll have all the details, it’s up to date, current, fresh and you’ll cut your action time by more than half.
My nickname for this resume is “The Master CV (Curriculum Vitae).”
I have one and I prepare one for all of my clients (and tell them they better maintain it!).
You’ll avoid having to do updating when you need it saving hours and hours and hoursof time.
(It is can be a lot of hours if you have a 10 year history – that’s why I charge more for executive resumes at this level.)
5. Have A Branding Resume That’s Ready for Anything
You never know when the next job opportunity might surprise you while you’re still at another job.
The chance might pop up during your next networking event, a friendly meeting with someone at another company, who knows!
Someone might request a resume and time is short.
You want to give the best first impression possible so why do a rush, rush job?
(You are serious about it right?)
That’s why you do all this prep work because you want to do an amazing job without the stress.
And that’s worth every penny.
In short keeping your resume up to date helps you stay motivated, on track, create a better resume (and cover letter) faster and have it ready for the next job opportunity at the drop of a dime.
So what are you waiting for?
Start putting together that “brag book” of yours!
Or at least writing a story about your successes and the skills you’ve learned with you as the main character!