By Sherri Sacks, Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach
What better time than the beginning of a new year to make sure your resume is current? Even if you are not actively looking for a job, an updated resume is a mandatory part of your career toolkit. After all, if you are putting yourself out there, you never know when an opportunity is going to find you!
People rarely take the time to put their current jobs on their resumes, yet you need to provide your resume promptly when asked for it. If you need to update it quickly, there is a good chance that you will send something out that has a typo, or that doesn’t adequately represent who you are and what you are doing in your present job. The new year is a great time to make sure that your current position and accomplishments are fully and thoughtfully presented in your resume. Make sure your resume lists the stellar victory you just secured for a client, or that you exceeded performance goals by 15% this quarter, so that you can easily send it when it’s requested for the bio section of a conference at which you are presenting, for the program at the awards ceremony where you are being recognized, or for a conversation about joining the board of an organization.
Once you’ve tackled the bigger job of your resume, don’t forget to review some of the smaller, but also important details on your resume. Are you still using aol.com as your email address? If so, time to move to Gmail. Set up an account now and start using that address professionally to avoid being perceived as “out-of-date,” or you might risk facing the real (often unspoken, under-the-radar) problem of age discrimination. Spend some time adding in any new industry presentations, awards, committees, board appointments, reported cases, or other relevant professional activities, and delete ones that aren’t as important to where you are heading in your career.
Have someone you trust give you feedback on how everything looks. Is there a good use of white space? Have you selected a reader-friendly font? Do they think the resume captures you well?
Increasingly, recruiters and employers are using their devices to screen resumes, so we recommend always saving your resume as PDF file to preserve its integrity and ensure the recipient will view it exactly as you sent it.
Once you have all things in the place, cross this task off the list and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment at being prepared for whatever the year is bringing you!
The JCS Career Center offers a free resume review as part of its Ask a Career Coach series at the Baltimore Public Library in Pikesville. Bring in your resume for a free one-on-one consultation with a JCS Career Coach from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on the following dates (no appointment needed):
February 11 March 10 April 14 May 12
Sherri Sacks is a JCS Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach
Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the JCS Career Center helps you sharpen the tools you need to succeed. Our professional staff provide job seekers of all abilities and skill levels with customized services including career coaching, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance.
For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbalt.org.