What Happens During a Resume Emergency?

5 Tips for a Speedy Update

You think it won’t ever happen to you.  You like your job (kind of).  You’re not even really looking for a new opportunity, but opportunity has a tendency of hitting you in the face, showing you exactly what you’ve been looking for, and demanding a resume.

And now what?  Your resume hasn’t been updated since you last looked for a job.  Maybe you don’t even have one at all!

I know it sounds silly and I can hardly believe it myself - that there are people walking around living their lives without this document that can be so essential to your professional career.  But it happens.  This nightmare scenario just happened to a friend of mine (shame!), and regardless of if you’ve been at the same job for 6 years or you’re a freelancer, you need that resume at-the-ready because someday, somehow, someway ---- you will be asked for it.

So what do you do?  Here are 5 speedy tips for a quick resume update.

  1. Focus on your most recent relevant position.  If you only have 20 minutes to get this done, spend 10 minutes on this piece and the remaining 10 on everything else.  Highlight your biggest accomplishment, and the skills and experience it took to get you there.

  2. Add a strong summary statement to sum up your career, one that describes you as the ideal candidate for this job. If it’s generic, delete and start over. Talk about awards, years of experience, or any accomplishments you’ve made (saving money, earning revenue, creating efficiencies, etc.).

  3. Remove the line “References available upon request.”  Duh, I know that.  Delete.

  4. Is the formatting consistent?  Make sure you’re using the same font throughout and that the alignment isn’t off.

  5. Spell check


Or, do yourself a favor and get this all taken care of in advance.