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June 28, 2017

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Don't Update Your Resume, Throw it Away -- September is 'Update Your Resume' Month

Over the years, reminders have come to be nuisances ... those to-do tasks that often surface when there are plenty of other to-dos of life. We barely find the time to feed the kids and keep up on the laundry. Update a resume? How silly. Pick it up, dust it off, and send it out. It worked the last time, so why not this time?

Well, take off the blinders. Everything has changed. When jobseekers consider FedEx has been known to scour blogs for top level IT candidates, Microsoft has used billboards, and resume management systems seem to be ruling the roost ... well, only updating a resume seems farfetched. It's equivalent to taking a severely dented piece of furniture and slapping on some paint. Slapping on a bit of new doesn't necessarily cover the old.

When jobseekers consider that traditional job-search methods are increasingly becoming old-school, let's consider calling September, "Throw The Resume Away" month. A resume developed for last year's hiring manager isn't necessarily the right format for today's when considering that resumes are being transformed to accommodate other job-search forums; i.e. blogs, social networking, and video and audio deliverable systems.

First, take the updated resume to a local library and pull a resume sample book off the shelf. Compare how it resembles those listed throughout the pages. Focus on using only the latest and greatest styles and techniques when it comes to a resume and cover letter, while customizing both to each varying delivery channel. What's appropriate for a paper resume isn't necessarily appropriate when that same info is transitioned to the work experience section of a LinkedIn account, for example.

Second, Teena says, "How will you stand out and be front and center when the time is most crucial?" Good question. Develop and utilize a resume and cover letter, if that's what's expected, but don't be afraid to try something new. As a jobseeker steps on each rung of the career ladder and the job-search landscape changes, search techniques should transform, improve, and be distinguishable as well.

Third, stop looking on a small scale. There's a reason why companies such as FedEx and Microsoft are using unique hiring techniques. They're searching for individuals who not only look outside the box, but look for those who see possibility, feasibility, and reach-ability. They want grand thinkers; people who embrace not shy away from new technologies and ideas. Think about how YouTube, LinkedIn, TwitHire, and so many others, have changed how we search for new jobs.

- Teena Rose

Teena Rose is a columnist, public speaker, and a professional resume writer with Resume to Referral. She's authored several books, including "20-Minute Cover Letter Fixer" and "Cracking the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales."

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