Our latest contest winner knows the importance of having an updated resume ready for a rainy day.
Does it ever feel like the day is getting away from you? From attending meeting after meeting, to crossing things off of a never-ending to-do list, it can feel as if time is speeding up. Before you know it, another day is done, you're exhausted, and updating your resume is the last thing on your mind — especially if you're currently employed. But keeping your resume up to date is important for every career-minded professional.
According to career advice expert Amanda Augustine, “None of us have a crystal ball to predict the future. Your best defense against an uncertain economy is to have an updated and polished professional resume at the ready. Consider it an insurance policy for your career.”
This resume “safety blanket” is exactly what our latest winner, Regina Powell, was looking for when she entered our resume makeover contest.
“I like my job, but who knows what the future could bring. I'm really happy to have a good resume, just in case something happens,” Powell revealed during our interview.
Regina has spent over 15 years working in corporate finance and accounting roles, starting as a bookkeeper and working her way up to the C-suite. For the past three-and-a-half years, she's been heading up the finance and HR operations for a company in Florida.
While it only took Regina about five months to find her current job, she shared that she had been disappointed with the number of interviews she received during that time.
“I thought I deserved many more than I got,” she said. It wasn't until Regina worked one on one with her TopResume writer Traci that she realized how much goes into writing a strong resume — and that her old resume was prohibiting her from landing opportunities for which she was more than qualified.
“Now I know there are a lot of 'in-the-background' things that are important … things that, as a job seeker, I had not been aware of, like how to put your keywords in to make your resume readable to the ATS system,” Powell added. “With my new resume, I know I'm prepared for whatever might happen at my job.”
Related: How to Recession-Proof Your Career
The importance of keeping your resume fresh
For those who know little to nothing about resume writing, the thought of spending hours reevaluating and updating your resume is daunting. Add being in-between jobs to the mix and your stress levels increase ten-fold. Even if you do know a little something about resume writing and you have a job you love, you don't want to neglect your resume.
Having an up-to-date resume — even while you're employed — is a smart move. From the possibility of a recession on the horizon to preparing for a layoff or even being ready if a new opportunity presents itself, having a resume ready to go will put your mind at ease and allow you to focus on other important aspects of your life.
Upgrading your resume
With Traci's help, Regina's ordinary resume transformed into an extraordinary self-marketing tool she can keep in her back pocket for a rainy day.
To ensure that Powell's resume would be strong enough for the job search when (and if) she needed it, Traci fixed up the professional summary and created a core competencies section that draws attention to Regina's skills, simultaneously adding necessary ATS keywords to pass the electronic gatekeeper. She also shifted the language from “doer” to “achiever,” helping Regina's quantifiable achievements stand out, framing her as a proactive professional, and breaking up the bullet points to make it easier to scan and read. Traci even included a “Career Note” at the bottom to highlight Regina's experience in between her education and her latest work experience while avoiding drawing attention to her age.
With these changes, Regina now has a resume that is ready for whatever life might throw her way — and she doesn't think she could've done it without a professional to help her along the way.
“Resume writing is like someone saying 'okay, write the story of your life,' and then you freeze, leaving a blank paper instead,” Regina told us. “But if someone helps you with it, it opens up the perspective you need to write it down. It's the same with getting professional help with your resume; it allows you to create a resume that represents you.”
Click here for more resume advice.
Worried your resume insurance won't actually protect you during the job search? Let one of our TopResume expert writers help you out today!
Resumes Demystified: We Helped This Discouraged Job Seeker Crack the Code