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Saturday, November 05, 2005
Seven Years is Not an Update
I had a dear friend and former client contact me today to get an update to his resume. He is a civil engineer and I wrote his original resume when he was still in college and going for an internship. Seven years ago, he won the internship using the resume I developed and ended up getting a nice job offer from the employer following graduation. He has progressed greatly in his position and has earned a stellar reputation as a smart, fair, and sensible engineer who really knows his stuff.

He contacted me today because he has an offer from a municipality for the position of City Manager. The job offers better hours, level pay and benefits, and almost no travel. The best thing of all is that it is very close to his home town and winning the job would allow him and his wife to live close to their families for the first time in almost 18 years. He really wants this position and I want to help him win it.

To get his resume ready to go, we need to cover seven years of very project-heavy experience. His previous resume (which he has not used since he accepted his internship) is for a college student. Reading it is like reading about a totally different person. I informed him that we were going to have to start from scratch and build a completely new resume that would market him as he is now – a highly qualified Professional Engineer and not a student. As I said before, he is a very sensible person and smart and he realized that what he was thinking of as an “update” was not really what he needed.

Unfortunately, sometimes other clients don’t understand that update generally means adding on one position to a resume that’s been written within the last two years. I recommend a yearly update just to keep the document fresh, current, and alive so when an unexpected opportunity arises the job seeker is ready. If you are not sure you need to update your resume, ask yourself the following questions:

Since I last had my resume updated…
--have I had a promotion?
--have I completed a major project?
--have I won a significant award?
--have I changed functions with my current employer?
--have I changed jobs completely?
--have I won a huge contract for my employer?
--have I broadened my key responsibilities?
--have I held a new leadership position?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you probably need an update. As we head into the last two months of the year, many people see this as a time to review their resume and career documents and start thinking about the New Year coming up. Are you going to be considering a new job in 2006? If so, you’ll need an updated resume. You might even need a whole new resume. If you are considering a career change or if it has been a significant period of time since your resume was written, it’s time to give it a lift and get it ready to get interviews!

November 2005 /


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