Day 6: Update Your Resume

6 Sep

“Now joblessness isn’t just for philosophy majors.” -Kent Brockman

This precocious fella didn't update his resume - and his father paid for it big time.

Today’s Mission: None of us need reminding that the economy is in the tank right now.  In this tight job market, every small thing can mean the difference between landing a job and being unemployed.  And having an updated, sharp looking resume is an essential part of networking like a man.

Even if you have a job, it’s a good idea to update your resume. Why? Well, first, there’s a chance you could lose your job, and you want to be able to start looking for new work immediately instead of having to spend time working on your resume. Second, perhaps a better job opportunity will show up. Many times, such opportunities are time sensitive, meaning the first to get his foot in the door usually gets the job.

We all need to be ready for these opportunities when they present themselves by having resumes that are ready to be printed off and placed in someone’s hand. (via Art of Manliness)

I know, I know – updating your resume is as much fun as watching paint dry with CSPAN3 on in the background.  Unlike the current “Party of No” on Capitol Hill, we here at Better Man are the “Party of Yes” and you can’t filibuster your way out of this piece of career legislation.  Still grumbling are you?  Well what if I told you my resume is a lobotomizing 12 pages long – all while being the proper length for my respective employer – the U.S. Government.  Checkmate, get started.

(For the record: Real men write their OWN resumes – then get consulting help from others.)

So you’ve primped, pressed and polished your new (updated) resume with results-oriented language, concise descriptions of previous responsibilities, and highlighted your professional strengths.  What next?  Here is what I do.

  1. Send it to friends and trusted coworkers for constructive criticism.  Even better, befriend the HR lady/guy and ask for their professional opinion.  Write them a thank you note afterwards.
  2. Create a unique, albeit subtle visual identity for your resume using white space and typography.  Hiring officials see thousands of the same, bland, cookie-cutter resumes every day.  Make your resume unique in some way – but keep it professional.  Comic sans is for chumps.
  3. Print on a cotton-derived paper with a watermark.  Instant class and sophistication.  Your resume will now look and feel head and shoulders over everyone else on the table.

If you’ve already got a solid job (or tenure) you still have a responsibility to maintain your resume and track your professional accomplishments.  This has two benefits:

  1. It will help you update your *next* resume with relative ease.
  2. It allows you to document the quality and quantity of your work for your supervisor (and for yourself).  Here’s how to do it.

Each month I take 15 minutes to brainstorm my significant projects/ideas/accomplishments/training over the last month and I enter it into an ever-growing Word document.  Then I voluntarily submit a condensed version of this document to my supervisor before my end-of-year review.  Keep your statements objective and to the point.  Example:

  • Attended week-long training, earned certification as an Interpretive Ranger Coach/Mentor.
  • Completed DOI B3 Aviation Safety Training, 2010 Wildland Firefighter Refresher.
  • Organized, instructed (2) CPR/First Aid Classes for 21 park employees.


"What did I accomplish at work today?"

This past summer I was responsible for developing and evaluating nine other park rangers during our busy summer season.  I quickly learned it is impossible to track of all of their accomplishments.  Now, think of your own supervisor.  It is possible that he or she didn’t catch some of your work as well.  A good supervisor should accept an objective year-end summary because it gives them a better chance of arriving at a fair, accurate employee evaluation.

Still not getting good evaluations from your supervisor year-after-year?  Well, now you have an updated resume waiting in the barn.  Good man.

Got a resume tip for your fellow man?  Please share it below.

Full Mission Brief:
Update Your Resume
(from The Art of Manliness)

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One Response to “Day 6: Update Your Resume”

  1. Andrea September 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    A) I love this blog. A great idea!

    B) A well-composed resume absolutely speaks volumes to your communication skills and your ability to get your foot in the proverbial human resources door.

    C) I have a few recommendations based on my experience being on interview panels and seeing who makes it in for an interview (note: interviewing skills are just as, if not more important!):
    – it’s important to have a good base resume, but one size does NOT fit all; your experience delivering pizzas for Papa Johns may not be suitable for a job as a data analyst but may speak to customer service skills if you are applying for a job in the food or retail biz.
    – think not only about concrete tasks performed or tangible products produced but also about the intangibles – enhanced communication skills, teamwork, leadership, etc.)
    – use the most descriptive action verbs you can and try to vary your verbs (performed, designed, described, developed, implemented, analyzed, improved, coordinated)
    – don’t forget about volunteer work, especially if it’s relevant to the job of interest
    – use spell check 🙂

    D) I’d love to look over your resume if you need another set of eyes!

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