Keeping the Resume Updated.
Just like with friends, we don’t want to ignore them until we need them. Neither should we ignore our resume until we need it. Most people realize they need a new resume one conversation too late. It might be a colleague imploring them to apply for the perfect job, or the boss letting them know they are no longer needed. Either way, it is best practice to have an updated resume basically ready to go. Resume styles do evolve as time goes by, so if you keep the content updated, the style changes will be easy. Also, it can be difficult remembering what you did in previous positions, and when your resume writer wants specifics to show size and scope, you either pull your hair out or punt on the project altogether. Write these things down and get them into the resume as they occur. You will thank yourself for being a true friend!
The Patchwork Resume
It resembles grandma’s old quilt with bits and pieces gathered from here and there all put together in one big rambling story. The patchwork resume started somewhere in time and was just never revisited other than to add new information. Obsolete content has not been removed, items have not been consolidated or rearranged to support a new focus, and there is simply no more room to add all the great things you have recently done. Time to take the patchwork and rebuild it into a new and improved resume with an updated look, a fresh writing approach, and all with your target positions in mind. Your job focus will change over time, and it’s important that the rhythm and message of your resume supports this focus. Take the time to modernize your resume and keep the patchwork for grandma’s feather bed.
Breathing New Life into an Old Story
My friend’s recent decision to redecorate a room in her home was accompanied by her decision to throw everything out and start from scratch. A lot of work, if not extremely expensive! “You liked these things at one time” I told her “How can they suddenly be of no use to you?” Fortunately for her pocketbook, she hired a decorator who recommended some new items, indeed, but as the design began to take shape we saw how the old pieces not only fit in with the new look, but were great contributors and accents to the finished product. In the hands of a pro, new life was breathed into the old things and voila! Everything old was new again. Same goes for your resume. Approach your older, less sexy experience with a paring knife more than a machete, and consider how it can play a supporting role to your cutting-edge expertise. Nobody becomes an expert overnight, so the trick is taking your one, two or three pages and telling the story with the starring role being the new and sexy, supported by the years of growth and evolution. Present the past from the perspective of how it led up to today, and direct it toward your target job.