In case you haven’t heard, this month is International Update Your Resume Month! For those who’ve heard, I’m sure you’re tired of reading articles about the importance of updating your resume. Yes, it’s important, but there are other ways you can join in the fun! Related: How To Transform Your Resume From Vintage To Viral Here are four ways to celebrate this month—that go beyond adding words to a document.
1. Start A Brag FileThis file should include all the kudos, accolades, and letters of recommendations you’ve received throughout your career. Feel free to include even short snippets where your boss or client said you did a ‘good job’ over email. Lists of workshops, seminars, and training certificates are a good addition, too. Include everything that shows how amazing you are. If you’ve been working for some years now, you might need a small box instead of a folder—that’s great! Just organize everything according to year of employment or company name. This brag file will come in handy next time you’re applying for a new job, promotion, or during your annual performance review.
2. Learn A New Skill Worthy Of Adding To Your ResumeYou can take up extra classes through a local college or university, or you can take an online course through the many distant learning websites online. There are tons of classes available in these sites, ranging from learning to code, creative writing, photography, selling, psychology, accounting, and so on. After taking extra classes through a traditional school, most of them will give you a certificate of completion, so you can add that to your resume and LinkedIn profile. For online learning schools, however, not all courses are certifiable. Of the courses that offer a certificate, most will require a minimal payment of $20-$40. That’s cheap considering what you’ll learn and the new skill you can add to your professional merits.
3. Negotiate A Higher SalaryAn updated resume can advance your career in many ways, not just by earning you a higher job title. A powerful resume can help you negotiate a higher salary, even for an entry level or mid level job. Not negotiating during the initial job offer can cause an average employee over $600,000 in salary during his career. Unfortunately, many candidates don’t negotiate their initial offer, fearing they might lose it if they ask for more. To negotiate a higher salary, you must focus not on comparable salaries and certainly not on how much money you need. Your future boss doesn’t care about that. As for comparable salaries, it’s not always a good leverage because some organizations don’t care what competitors pay their employees. So, how can you convince them to up the offer? Focus on the value you bring—your experience, qualifications, proven track record, LinkedIn recommendations—and tie them up to the time and money you saved (or earned) for your previous employer. Create a list of achievements then use this as your talking points when you’re negotiating a higher offer. Don’t forget to hand the interview a list of all those accomplishments, in case he needs to show it to his boss.
4. Get A Side Job To Add Another Entry In Your ResumeHaving a side job has five benefits:
- Earn extra income
- It could serve as a foundation for building your own business—if you want to
- Add another entry in your resume’s work history
- Increase your network or connect you to another employer willing to pay more
- Give you more accomplishments, experience and stories to share during job interviews