Don't let job burnout impede your resume update efforts.

Job burnout is an insidious malady that can affect everything from work performance to everyday life during your off-hours. In fact, burnout has become such a problem in recent years that an estimated 40 percent of workers who have left their jobs during the Great Reshuffle have cited being burned out as the main reason they quit. Unfortunately, the same burnout that may inspire you to leave your job could also prevent you from effectively updating the resume you need to find your next employment opportunity.

That is why it is so important to know how to update your resume when you are dealing with burnout. In this post, we will examine why burnout can be such a challenge when you are updating your resume, and steps you can take to overcome that obstacle.

How can burnout impact your job search preparation?

It might seem as though burnout should have little impact on your ability to get your resume ready for a job search. After all, the sheer excitement of moving to a healthier work environment should be more than enough inspiration to shake off any lingering negativity or exhaustion, right? In a perfect world, that assumption would be true – but real life does not always work out that way.

In the real world, professional burnout's effects are so pervasive that they can begin to creep into every area of your life. While its impact on your work is often the first serious sign of a problem, burnout almost always extends to your home life as well. Worse, it can negatively impact your own sense of worth, as depression, anxiety, and a feeling of hopelessness gradually take root. Perhaps most worrying is the fact that burnout's symptoms can include reduced self-esteem and a loss of confidence.

As the Bard once noted, there's the rub. Because employees who are suffering from burnout typically feel overwhelmed and lose confidence in their job and performance – even when they are working more hours than usual, they may struggle to recognize their own accomplishments. And if they are struggling to identify the things that make them valuable employees, how can they even begin to effectively update their resumes in a way that highlights that value?

What is your resume designed to achieve?

One of the first steps to overcoming this resume update challenge is to understand what you are trying to achieve with your resume. Too many job seekers think of a resume as nothing more than a dry list of their previous jobs, skills, and educational credentials. Of course, the reality is that your resume should be much more than that. A great resume will always tell a story about who you are and why you are the best person for any given job.

Obviously, you are going to struggle to tell that story if you have lost sight of your own importance as an employee. That is why burnout can be such an impediment for job seekers. After suffering a loss of confidence, many of them start to feel as though they are just spinning their wheels on the job, achieving nothing of note. Often, they start to wonder if coworkers or supervisors would even notice if they just stopped showing up. Others do leave their jobs–leaving them in need of new employment while in the same unhealthy mental state.

That is not a mentally healthy place to be when you need to focus on displaying your work at its best. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to refocus your mind on your true value as an employee, and then update your resume to highlight all the reasons why a prospective employer would be lucky to hire you.

Top 3 tips to update your resume when you are dealing with burnout

1. Take stock of all your achievements

The one thing you cannot afford to do when updating your resume is allow burnout negativity to cloud your sense of accomplishments. Even if you feel less than productive right now, that is but a snapshot in time that does not reflect your best work. So, try to look past your current feelings and reflect on everything that you have accomplished since the day you were hired. Review your past performance reviews for positive feedback. If you have maintained a “brag book” of achievements, now is the time to pull it out and remind yourself of just how valuable you have been as an employee.

2. Imagine the company without you in it

If you have ever seen the movie It's a Wonderful Life, then you know how the story ends: the movie's protagonist George Bailey finds himself at a point of utter despondency and wishes that he'd never been born. Thanks to the angel Clarence, he is given the opportunity to see just what the world would have been like without him and ends up understanding just how many lives he had positively impacted. Have you ever imagined what your company would be like without your presence?

Take the time to sit down and think of everything that you do and all the colleagues, clients, and supervisors you deal with each day. Make a note of every important project you have had a hand in completing, client problems you have helped resolve, and all the times you have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that things ran smoothly. Now imagine what might have been had you not been there to play that role. Once you understand the lives you have touched throughout your time at the company, you may begin to appreciate your own achievements once again.

3. Focus on where you want to be, not where you are

You should also try to look beyond the here and now. Yes, you are burned out, exhausted, and possibly depressed – and it likely has at least something to do with unhappiness at work. But if your entire focus is on just getting away from your current job, you will probably struggle to focus on the larger goal of finding a better one. When pursuing a career change, always try to focus on the goal you seek. That is the best way to ensure that you are excited as you move forward.

Once you are focused on where you want to go, the next step is to start telling your story. Use your resume to highlight your achievements, craft your career narrative, and describe a skill set prospective employers will want to see in their top job candidates. As you do so, remember just how valuable you have been as an employee, and think about how your skills and experience can create value for your future employer.

This advice applies whether you are currently stuck in a toxic environment or you left a bad position and have a resume gap due to burnout. The best thing to do is take care of yourself, and then get your resume ready when you've been reminded of your value. Don't worry about things you can't change.


Burnout can be a serious issue for any employee, affecting physical and mental health, job performance, and even the job search process. A proper understanding of how burnout can pose a challenge for any resume update is essential for ensuring that you fight past those obstacles and craft the resume you need to advance your career goals.

Make sure your resume reflects your goals. Hire an experienced resume writer today.

Recommended Reading:

Related Articles: