Past IssuesDecember 08, 2008
Refresh Your Resume for the New Year
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Refresh Your Resume for the New Year
by Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert
The new year means a new list of resolutions. And let's face it: Some are tough to keep. If you want proof, compare the number of cars packed into the parking lot of any fitness center in early January to the lonely few there in mid-March.
But a New Year's resume refresher isn't nearly as painful as four hours a week on the treadmill. And your efforts could pay off with big dividends. Arm yourself with an updated, high-octane resume, and 2009 could be the year that you land a better job.
Now is a great time to reflect on your recent accomplishments and add them to your resume. Let these ideas guide you ...
Make sure your resume instantly communicates your career target with a descriptive headline that adequately reflects your depth of experience. It should be a brief, hard-hitting opening statement highlighting your top selling points.
If you're thinking about changing careers or industries, be sure you've clearly defined your goal. Your job search will be more successful if your resume targets a specific field instead of being a one-size-fits-all document.
Research positions to gain a solid understanding of what you want to do as well as the qualifications employers are seeking. Once you identify your career target, assess your background and identify transferable skills and experience that will enable success. Add an opening objective that spells out your goals and shows the relevance of past experience.
Refreshing your resume also means keeping it current. If you've changed jobs during the past year, earned a promotion or expanded responsibilities, your resume should reflect this. Even if you've remained in the same position, you've probably achieved noteworthy accomplishments in the last year. Don't forget about your new skills, including technical and computer ones.
Add professional-development activities you completed last year, including certificates, degrees, courses and in-service training. Also include organizations joined and industry conferences attended. List training programs you've begun, even if you haven't completed them. This shows your commitment to ongoing professional development.
Edit ruthlessly. Proofread your resume carefully to ensure it's error-free. Watch for information that needs to be updated from previous versions. Update regularly. You should refresh your resume throughout the year, not just at the beginning. You never know when opportunity may come knocking!