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  • Lori A. Jazvac

It's Time to Update Your Résumé this September

Did you know that September is known as International Update Your Résumé Month?

Superior Résumé Building: Leverage Timing and Thorough Preparation

Interestingly enough, many people are unaware of the structural, formatting, and design elements that go into a résumé. Crafting a résumé takes skill, thought, and planning. Some believe that the résumé is not that important or that it has lost its place in the recruiting world. Myth! The resume is very much "alive" and used widely in every workplace to evaluate one's candidacy for a particular role or promotion and to equally weed out the unqualified candidates for an advertised position.

Yet, numerous jobseekers often avoid getting their résumé re-customized until the very last minute. Timing and preparation mean everything when it comes to your career. So why would you leave this vital step to chance, especially at a time when hiring is at its full peak in September?

In today’s hiring world, the résumé represents a clear snapshot of not only your expertise, but your essential value. It is often the first impression the employer has of a candidate that conveys their unique brand. Whether you're vying for your next board or committee role, presenting at a conference, or securing a volunteer role, your résumé needs to be appropriately tailored for the position.

Common Résumé Blunders

The résumé can speak volumes about you, the candidate. And the quality of your résumé can get you either hired or completely screened out (even if you have solid networks). Remember the first impression rule.

Did you also know that a study released by TheLadders, an online job-matching service, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual résumé?

As a Master Resume Writer, the résumés that encompass my desk by prospective or existing clients need a complete revamp.

Here are the 7 common patterns that I've noticed:

  • The structure is confusing.

  • The résumé showcases few results.

  • The résumé lacks a clear focus or career target.

  • The résumé is full of redundant information (example: very long summary or dense paragraphs).

  • The résumé focuses on duties and responsibilities rather than the actual deliverables.

  • The résumé is completely outdated in design and formatting.

  • The resume lacks accuracy or has spelling errors or typos.

  • No résumé strategy has been used (this is where I come in!)

So what is the secret to creating a stellar résumé? It's all in the STRATEGY and RESULTS-BASED ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

The only way an employer can set you apart is to understand the difference that you have made in the workplace. Constructing a compelling résumé that shifts the emphasis from what you did to how you did it or the results you achieved creates a powerful read and positively changes the way a company perceives your value. Thus, it makes initial conversations much more fruitful and engaging.

Some tips for formulating accomplishments:

  • Think about not just what your responsibilities and activities were/are but how they impacted or are set to impact the company.

  • What happens when you do what you do at work?

  • What have you been well recognized for?

  • What is your most proudest milestone that was a real game-changer?

  • What are the results that you helped set in motion?

  • Try to quantify your results with metrics such as $, %, or #s. Describe the strategy used and actions taken. Think Challenge-Action-Results, but ensure to lead with results!

Get Ready for Your Next Career Move: Keep Your Résumé Updated

You never know when change can happen or when that next promotion or opening will be calling upon you to make your next career move. This is why it is critical to have your résumé ready to hit the ground running. This will also save you time and stress in both the short-term and long-term. A helpful strategy is keeping track of your accomplishments in a log.

And remember your résumé is a critical piece to the job search journey, but it is one part of your brand marketing portfolio. It's important to leverage the résumé along with brand marketing collateral to maximize your career success. After all, it is your passport to branding and exciting career opportunities.

For more information about building a stellar Master-level résumé package, contact Lori at Creative Horizons Communications at 905.730.2374 or email

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