Top 3 motivations to update (create, review, revise) your resume

Photo by pvera

Did you know that September is the official International Update your Resume Month, proclaimed officially by Career Directors International? September is the start of many other things, back-to-school, start of college, start of families focusing on sporting events, church group scheduling, and many things.

I think this is a great time to remember that your resume is a critical tool in your career tool box. You are also a tool as Melissa Cooley said recently in her blog, The Job Quest:

In your job search and career, you want to be considered a tool — someone who can be counted on to help the company or department reach important goals. A means to a desired end.

I would encourage you to update your resume, create a new resume, review your career goals, and if the reminder for September as the International Update your Resume Month helps you, that’s great!

But I tell my clients this all the time. You need to keep your resume current and updated.

A few weeks ago, I had a client in hospitality management call for an appointment. In the call, she said, “you told me that it is a good idea to keep my resume updated, so I want to do it now.”

Why update your resume?

1. → You want to keep the ball in your court… You don’t know when you will need that resume so you will be ready to go. Here are some more of the ball in your court strategies:

Never tell a prospect “I look forward to hearing back from you,” which puts the ball in their court. They can (and frequently do) drop the ball, leaving you with nothing.

Instead, say “I’ll be in touch soon,” keeping the ball in your court. It’s beautiful. Your reason for calling could simply be because you said that you would (implying you’re as good as your word).

2. →Your ability to remember accomplishments that make you remarkable diminishes with time.

To make your resume remarkable, it should be chock full of accomplishments, keywords, strategies, and void of dinosaur phrases like “responsible for”.

3. →You could be someone else’s treasure. In this tough economy, if you are ready to go, you can fill a need.

Repositioned and back out there with the right career marketing strategies, visible, you may be someone else’s treasure.

When a client realizes their value as I probe them for accomplishments and write their resume, the light goes on. While reading their new resume, it isn’t uncommon for the client to say, “I would hire me!” Value! Confidence! and someone else’s treasure!

September IS International Update Your Resume Month but that is only a reminder that you need to be prepared all the time… not just in September!


  1. Melissa Cooley on September 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    A very important reminder for all folks whether working or in transition! One other good reason to update a resume on a regular basis is that it’s a lot easier to make a few incremental changes to it than to have to do a complete overhaul.

    (And thanks for the shout-out, Julie!) 🙂

    • Julie Walraven on September 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm

      Thank you, Melissa! You are so right! And those incremental changes are easier to remember when you work on them too. If you wait until you are desperate then there are major issues to try to remember the accomplishments and substantiate them.

      You’re welcome!

  2. Anna Barcelos on September 4, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Terrific post! Great reminder especially for those seeking jobs like me. Great point that we absolutely do forget our accomplishments over time and need to keep the resume updated.

    • Julie Walraven on September 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you, Anna! I found you when I read Ari’s blog and he mentioned your search. Do read over your resume multiple times and think accomplishment. My clients probably get sick of me saying that but I do the “and what then?” strategy taught to me a long time ago. It was vividly reminded when I was at Career Management Alliance Conference at the end of April in New Orleans.

      Don Orlando did a fantastic session with a young man who had an OK resume but Don just keep asking questions… What was the problem? What did you do to solve the problem? What were the results? then more How did you discover the problem? How long has the problem been going on? Did though who tried and failed to solve the problem have more experience or more time with the company? And onward!

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Julie Walraven

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