Updating Your Resume – Create an Historical Perspective

Okay, maybe you’re doing just great in that job, and the last thing on your mind is thinking about where you want to go next. For most of us, we forget we even have a resume until the realization of needing to look for new employment is thrust upon us – whether through an unpleasant work environment or experience, or because a new opportunity gets us thinking that maybe there’s more out there…

Given how quickly things are moving today, wouldn’t it be nice to have your resume ready the next time you discovered a place to share it? At least you can have the pieces updated so it’s easier to put together and send off.

The basis of every good resume is a full and complete history. If you haven’t already done so, take the time to create an historical perspective by listing everything you’ve ever done – volunteer or paid. Include the duration of the job or activity, the time basis (full time, and percentage of full time), and the major duties – as well as the traditional who, when and where. Someplace you should also identify the major skills you used as you performed the duties. This is important because it allows you to begin grouping your history into functions rather than just by employers.

And why is that important? Because skills are transferable. Being able to type on a typewriter transfers fairly easily to keyboarding skills on a computer. Interviewing authors transfers easily to interviewing clients. Scheduling rooms transfers to scheduling workers. Project management is project management. You get the idea.

And as you group your employment history into functions you will begin to see patterns – patterns that can help you recognize what you are good at and what you enjoy doing.

Another part of your history should include specific accomplishments. For instance, when I was working as a Training Manager, I was responsible for bringing in $500,000 each year, at an 85% profit level. And that was 25% of the company’s gross income. As you can tell, the training function provided a LOT of capital for the other functions in the company. A prospective employer would understand that I know what to do to generate revenue – with high profitability.

As you look over the resume that got you your current job, think about the things you are currently doing that are not yet reflected there. Add the duties, the skills and especially the accomplishments to your historical perspective. Keep the history as a separate document and continue to add to it over time. And consider setting up a regular update schedule so you’re not scrambling the next time you need to send one out. A little preparation in advance could give you the advantage that gets you the job!

1999-2010 Katie Darden ~ Katie Darden is a Creative Catalyst who delights in drawing out the best in those around her – clients, friends and strangers. To read more articles like this one, go to http://CareerLifeInstitute.com. If you’re ready to change careers or find the job you really love, discover an easy way to do this at http://SuccessfulCareerTransitions.com.

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