You probably fall into one of three categories:
- On the search for a new job
- Weighing whether to stay at your current position or to find employment elsewhere
- Satisfied with your current position
What do people who fall into these categories have in common? The need for an updated resume. That statement may make sense for the candidate seeking a job or the one considering making a career move, but why would someone who is satisfied with their job spend time updating their resume?
Think about how long you have been at your current company. Whether that answer is one year, ten years, or longer, it is tricky to remember every contribution you have made. Try to think of every aspect you made, saved, or achieved to date. The quarter you exceeded revenue expectations by 200% eight years ago, the time you implemented a new software program that improved company productivity by 40%, and the 9 employees you have trained are all accomplishments that make you stand out and show what kind of employee you are, but only if you can remember them.
Keeping your resume up to date annually makes it easier when the time comes for a career change, whether planned or unplanned. It also reduces the likelihood of needing a complete resume overhaul.
Quick Fixes Versus Complete Overhauls
At J2T, our recruiters are master resume revisers and can expertly format your work history, but that does not mean they know your work history. It is up to you to recall what sets you apart from the other 100+ candidates who applied for the same position at your dream company.
Quick fixes like verbiage, formatting, and restructuring sentences are all areas recruiters can assist in making sure your resume is most effective, but what can you do to avoid a complete resume overhaul? Kady Gerhart, J2T’s Market Manager and experienced recruiter, shares top tips to keep your resume current, specifically for accounting/finance professionals:
- Tailor your professional objective statement to align with the specific requirements of the targeted position.
- If you have five or more years of relevant experience, consider relocating your academic background to the bottom of the resume.
- Transform your resume beyond a standard job description by highlighting projects, incorporating numerical data, and showcasing notable accomplishments.
- Exclude references from your resume to maintain a streamlined and professional document.
- Omit unrelated work experiences.
Resume SWOT Analysis
Say it has been a few years since you have touched your resume. It may appear that everything needs to be updated, which is overwhelming. Performing a SWOT analysis can help.
A SWOT analysis helps brainstorm ideas concerning internal aspects, like your Strengths/Weaknesses, and external aspects, such as Opportunities/Threats.
- Key question: What are you good at?
- Specific to your resume, list on-the-job experience you excel at, certifications, education, notable accomplishments, and hard/soft skills you are advanced in.
- Key question: What areas challenge you?
- This area of SWOT is for you to contemplate, not to list on a resume. It is important to be honest about where your skills lie and what you can improve to achieve your career goals.
- Key question: Should you consider a career move?
- Opportunities refer to an external factor. Consider potential careers and positions you are interested in. Is there a company whose mission or products resonate with you and complement your strengths?
- Key question: What threats could affect your job, and how would you react?
- Is your company considering a merger or acquisition that could threaten your position or limit your growth within the company? It is important to assess the threats to your job when updating your resume.
- Consider factors such as: Industry trends, tech advancements, overall state of the economy.
While threats are out of your control, strategizing (including keeping an updated resume ready to go) can reduce their impact on your career.
The importance of keeping your resume up-to-date extends beyond job seekers and career changers. Even those content in their current roles benefit from regular updates. By preserving a detailed record of accomplishments and skills, you can better position yourself for unexpected opportunities and minimize the need for a major resume overhaul when the time for change arrives.