Do you prepare your resume only when you need to use it? Whether or not you are on the hunt for a new job, keeping your resume up-to-date is crucial. Imagine yourself scrambling to come up with an accurate (this is tough especially if you are not someone who documents achievements consistently) and interesting resume when you need to make the submission deadline for a job opening. Furthermore, you can certainly make better use of the limited time to do a profile check on the company and even create a specific resume (sometimes known as targeted resume).
It is Better to be Ready!
Since you never know when you might need to have your specific resume ready, you should regularly update your resume with relevant accomplishments, new job duties, recently-achieved certifications, and other similar achievements, instead of spending hours trying to remember critical information years after the achievement. This is especially true of smaller but equally important achievements that may fade in memory as time passes.
Take some initiative and update your resume perhaps monthly or yearly so you can avoid the last minute stress and rush to do it when you need it. Even if you do not edit your resume regularly, you should keep good records of your benchmarks and accomplishments to use when you finally sit down at the computer. This may be as simple as storing the details in your smart-phone, archiving emails from superiors that praise you or which detail your role is in a new project, or simply updating these information in biipmi.com. How you want to keep your information organized is up to you, but here’s what you should keep track of:
This makes you stand out from your peers, demonstrate your prowess and skill — and is one of the most difficult things to document and write. Why? Many people feel that an accomplishment has to be monumental in order to matter, but the reality is that many of the things you do on a regular basis can be seen as accomplishments, particularly if you phrase them the right way (I am not trying to ask you to forge accomplishments).
Quantifiable examples are best when it comes to proving what you had done through the use of dollar amounts, numbers, quotas, percentages, etc. Perhaps you made a lot of money for a former employer? Doing three people’s jobs? You are so efficient at what you do that you are saving your employer the cost of two other employees? This is what belongs to an interview-winning resume.
Examples of accomplishments might also include increasing a company’s sales, or decreasing overheads. What you list should be items that stand apart from your day-to-day duties; tangible, quantifiable items that really put your accomplishments into perspective. Take a look at these examples:
- Spearheaded an overseas expansion project in Vietnam
- Reduced lag time between sales and delivery by 25 percent through process enhancement
- Championed company’s WSQ* Team to boost sales by 40 percent in a year. (*WSQ stands for Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ), a Singapore national credentialing system)
Beyond that, less quantifiable accomplishments may also be included, such as major clients you handled, customer service satisfaction ratings, positive publicity, decreased attrition rate during your time as the HR manager…and anything else you can think of that are appropriate to list under accomplishments. Do not exaggerate these achievements; they might be perceived as false entries.
Licenses, Degrees, Awards, and Certificates
List only those which are most relevant to your career field; this is why you need a specific resume for every job you are applying for. Include titles, dates, locations, and the sponsors of any training you completed to receive certificates or licensure. Remember: stay relevant. A recruiter only wants to see what is relevant to the position you are applying for. Yes, you can skip your PSLE and even ‘O’ level certificates if you have a degree.
Sticking with the idea of what are relevant, conferences can be an important boost to your selling power. Do not forget to make notes of any in-services or trainings you might have conducted with others as a result of attending conferences, as these are notable accomplishments that highlight certain skill sets, such as leadership and public speaking abilities. You might even want to volunteer your services FREE to get the opportunity.
Technical skills should be included in your list. Technical skills can include knowing how to put together an effective spreadsheet in Excel or being proficient in the use of proprietary software that you used at a specific job (e.g. Macromedia Flash, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya for 3D graphic design and animation industry). There are also non-computer-related skills, such as operating a cash register. You can even include using equipment such as fax and copy machines if you are just entering the job market.
Find out more about the various entries in a resume and how to write a powerful CV or résumé with this Infographic.
Anfernee Tan | Operations Director, biipmi Pte Ltd
Anfernee Tan is the Co-founder and also the Chief Editor of biipmi.print. He oversees all marketing initiatives for content and channel optimization across multiple networks to drive engagement, retention, leads and positive experience for the individual users and business owners. He is a career coach, an adult educator, and an entrepreneur with special interest towards employability, digital media, content marketing and brand strategy.