The Importance Of Keeping Your Resume Updated

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Whether or not you're on the hunt for a new job, keeping your resume up-to-date is important. There's nothing worse than scrambling to come up with an accurate and interesting resume when you have two days to make the submission deadline for a job opening.

It's essential to be prepared
Since you never know when you might need to submit it, you should regularly update your resume with relevant accomplishments, new job duties, recently achieved certifications and other similar achievements instead of trying to remember critical information days, months, or even years after the fact. This is especially true of smaller but equally important achievements that may fade in memory as time passes.

Even if you don't edit your resume regularly, you should keep good records of your benchmarks and accomplishments to use when you finally sit down at the computer. This may be as simple as keeping a log, or storing e-mails from superiors that praise you for a 'job well done' or detail your role in a new project. How you keep your information organized is up to you, but here's what you should track:

Your accomplishments
These set you apart, demonstrate your prowess and skill—and are one of the single most difficult things for an individual to write. Why? Many people feel that an accomplishment has to be monumental in order to matter, but the reality is that many of the things you do on a regular basis can be seen as accomplishments, particularly if you phrase them the right way.

Quantifiable examples are best when it comes to proving what you've done through the use of dollar amounts, numbers, quotas, percentages, etc. Perhaps you made a lot of money for a former employer—or maybe saved someone a lot of money. Doing three jobs for the price of one? You're so efficient at what you do that you're saving your employer the cost of two other employees…with benefits! That's what belongs in an interview-winning resume.

Examples of accomplishments might include increasing a company's bottom line, promotions, special projects, decreasing costs, or company- or industry-sponsored awards. What you list should be items that stand apart from your day-to-day duties; tangible, quantifiable items that really put your accomplishments into perspective. Take a look at these examples:

  • Achieved a $2,500 monthly savings for XYZ Company within three months of hire by streamlining procedures
  • Reduced lag time between sales and implementation by 34 percent, through processes that enabled rapid deployment of software solutions without increasing costs
  • Boosted outlet sales 63 percent by creating new menu items
Other, less quantifiable accomplishments may also be included, such as major accounts you landed, customer service satisfaction ratings, mergers and acquisitions, positive publicity, promotions…and anything else you can think of that's appropriate to list under accomplishments.

Licenses, degrees, awards, and certificates
List only those which are most relevant to your career field. Include titles, dates, locations and the sponsors of any training you completed to receive certificates or licensure. Remember, stay on point. A hiring manager only wants to see what's relevant to the position you're applying for.

Super skills
Technical skills should be included in your list, unless you're an Executive with administrative staff. Tech skills can include knowing how to put together an effective spreadsheet in Excel or being a whiz in the use of proprietary software that you used at a specific job. Other, non-computer-related skills, such as operating a cash register, or using equipment such as fax and copy machines can make a difference in getting a job, particularly if you're just entering the job market.

If you're having difficulty coming up with accomplishments or even in trying to list your hard skills, you may want to consider using a resume design service. Most people have a hard time marketing themselves and someone who writes resumes professionally can help you identify your strengths and accomplishments. You may find that you've accomplished far more than you give yourself credit for!

ResumeEdge offers a hand-picked team of over 200 resume writers and career coaches who specialize in 40 different industries. The team provides the highest quality resume and cover letter services available, bar none. With partners ranging from Yahoo! to The Wall Street Journal's, ResumeEdge is the Internet's premier resume writing company. ResumeEdge is a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and the National Resume Writers Association and is a member in excellent standing of the Better Business Bureau.

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This is just one of hundreds of advice articles you’ll find on on resumes, cover letters and the job search process.