Last week, a friend of mine came to me in a crisis. "A recruiter just sent me my dream job. I need to email these people back right away--oh man, I have to update my resume like, right this second. Why is my resume not updated? Oh no..."
Oh no, indeed. Resumes are, as we're all well aware, totally obnoxious. And weirdly personal. A lot of people probably get years and years into their career without anyone seeing their resume aside from a potential employer. (Plug: editing resumes is something I get hired to do from time to time because, you know, I'm weird and enjoy that sort of thing.)
It goes without saying that your resume should always be up-to-date. But I know that me even saying that has caused several of you to flinch. So, instead of reprimanding, please allow me to make your life easier with this one simple trick.
I highly recommend that the very first section of your resume look like this:
Hard skills. Hard skills, hard skills, hard skills. List those suckers out, and put them right up front.
Have you ever tried to read your own resume? It's most likely really boring and full of buzzwords, and it probably doesn't make much sense to any one except you...
Meanwhile, there's this marketing concept called the "Buzzfeedification of the internet." You know how, on Buzzfeed, you're always reading lists? You know, like, 38 Reasons You Should Watch The Bachelor. Or 17 Puppies That Are Too Cute For Words.
Right. So, we can use that same approach for your resume and make it "skimmable." A Buzzfeedifying of your resume, if you would. Recruiters, mentors, employers can take one glance at this Qualifications section quickly to get an overview of your skillset.
I update this section every 3-4 months, rounding up to the time to the closest half year.
[BONUS PRO-TIP] For those of you who are dancing that dance of "I have a job, but I want to make myself look available for a new job without pissing off my stalker employer" -- this is a great tactic to use for your LinkedIn summary section. Also, listing out your skills increases your chances of being discovered by potential employers. The words you write there operate like any SEO-driven text.
Hope that helps.
Hugs from me,