Resumés Need to Be Updated More Often than Your Wardrobe!

Close-up of a resume with pen and glasses on the table.

Many people submit the same resumé time after time, with little updates or changes. This is a mistake, you should customize your resumé for each position that you are applying for. I would also say that the formats for resumés change over time. What was a common format for a resumé might now be considered out of date.

I spent the weekend updating my resumé, as I have to use my resumé for AFB when we apply for grants, subcontracts, and also when nominated for committees or boards. I am pretty good about keeping it up to date, but I spent hours changing the format of my resumé to make it much easier to read. Who did I go to for advice on sprucing up my resumé for the holidays? I went to my two brothers in the corporate world. They are both quite successful and switched corporations in the last year. They also have a lot of experience with hiring individuals and evaluating resumés.

I didn’t stop with my brothers; I also included my wife, Jennifer, who is an amazing editor. She catches things that most people would miss. I don’t believe in utilizing one set of eyes on my resumé, and I always make sure to truly consider the advice provided. Not all of the advice must be taken, but often the advice is quite valuable. They all provided advice that seemed accurate and helpful for the revision of my resumé.

I can tell you that personally, the formatting of the resumé can be one of the more difficult parts for me. I have used templates before, but some are not accessible with a screen reader. There are many that do work, though.

With the current revision of my resumé, I went with the bulleted format under each position that I have held. I put more detail into the more current and relevant positions. As your career builds and your list of positions expands, your resumé will grow past the typical one-page resumé. It all depends on your experience, field, and what you are trying to highlight. As my brother stated to me, most employers don’t spend much time past the first page. So, you want to make sure the most important information is covered within that page. I have to say, I tend to think that all of my information is important. Getting input from others can help to decide the importance of information. It is also important to think about the position that you are applying for as well. You can look at the job description to cull out the aspects of your work history that would be most relevant. I know that depending on the job, I may list accomplishments or activities that relate more to a position. Those activities might not be listed when I would apply for a different position.

In the current point of my career, I would be looking for an executive type role at a non-profit or a state vocational rehabilitation agency. If I were applying for a state agency, I would expand out my past history with the State of Florida, and list more relevant task while at AFB. If I were applying for a non-profit executive position, I would mention a lot about my work with grants, donors, resource development, budgets, and supervision. I know that most executives or CEOs at non-profits are there to raise funding, and that is something I have been extremely successful in doing at AFB.

A cover letter is the sales pitch to sell someone on reading your resumé, but the resumé gets you the interview. If you haven’t revised your resumé in a while, it is time to get it up to par. Take the time to check out the lessons within the Job Seeker’s Toolkit and the AFB CareerConnect section, Conducting a Successful Job Search. In the Job Seeker’s Toolkit, you can find easy self-paced lessons that guide you through the process. CareerConnect also allows you to build a personal data sheet, and generate a resume´ from that. You can update and customize your personal data sheet to update your resumé over time. This all can be saved in your My CareerConnect profile. Visit CareerConnect and get your resumé more up to date than your wardrobe!

Resume photo courtesy of Shutterstock.