Keep That Resume Current

woman in grey jacket sits on bed uses grey laptop
Photo by bruce mars on

I suppose you and me, we’re like most people. Over the course of our working lives, we’ll change jobs seven or eight times,, and we’ll change our career fields entirely two or three times. When we do make these changes, it means we have to re-visit our resumes, and writing resumes – well, there just aren’t most people’s idea of a good time.

Now precisely because working on your resume isn’t enjoyable, it’s far down on the list of things you probably choose to do when you find yourself with some free time and are looking at how to spend it. I get it. Just to be fair, it’s not something that I choose to do either on a Saturday or Sunday when the sun is out and I’m looking at how to spend a pleasant afternoon.

The benefit of course in keeping that resume up-to-date is that when an opportunity presents itself; especially when there’s a short timeframe for applying, you want to be ready. Yes, I know that you’ll have to target the resume to the specifics of the job posting anyhow, but recalling dates of courses, training and your work history are so much easier if you add to the resume every time you do something resume-worthy. So when you take a First Aid course for example, it doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to add it to your resume, save the document anew and exit. Done.

If you do update your resume with all the professional development you do and you just add it on and then exit, you start compiling what I call the, ‘kitchen sink’ resume. Everything is there on this one document should you need it. Now, a resume with everything you’ve ever done, ever course you’ve ever taken, every experience you’ve ever had is NOT what you’d want to pass on to an employer; not here in North America at any rate.

I suppose that’s the key difference between a CV and a Resume. A resume in Canada or the United States must be tailored to the job one applies to. Employers do a nice job for the most part, in identifying what their criteria are – both education and experience-wise in the postings they advertise, and as such, applicants are best-advised to submit resumes which address the employers needs. Keep in mind that with 75 – 150 resumes being submitted in many cases for employment, most employers are not impressed if you expect them to wade through a long, sprawling resume to see how you qualify yourself.

The one advantage to the kitchen sink resume is that everything you’ve ever done is on this one document, and from it, you extract and submit just the things that are pertinent to the job you want to apply to. When a second job opportunity comes up, you might find that you have to add and remove certain experiences and training courses you’ve taken to be relevant to the requirements of this second position. You can avoid taxing your memory for the exact name of a course or the body who provided the training if you recorded it when you took it. I’ve had to jog a lot of memories when helping people write resumes over the years.

Now here’s a small tip that you could start doing today to make this easy to get going and easy to keep up with only a small bit of investment on your part. Open up your list of files on your computer. Find your most up-to-date resume and right-click on the document name. From the menu that appears, choose copy. Paste a copy right where you are at this moment so that you have your original and one below it with the same name but (copy) included in the name. Okay, right-click on this title and scroll down to rename. When you left-click on rename, type in KITCHEN SINK RESUME and click off the space. With this done, you now have a very clearly labeled document which is where you’ll add absolutely all the things you’ve ever done.

As I said earlier, you’ll never actually submit this one resume to anyone, but it is the place to go when you’re trying to recall when you took a course or when you worked in a certain job. It takes the guesswork out of your resume, and it serves as a location for you to visit when you need to remember a specific job title or employer.

The thing is, when we are working, we don’t presume we’ll need to be making a resume most of the time. Our focus – as it should be – is on the job at hand and what has to be done. However, once you’ve got this dumping ground, kitchen sink resume set up, you can add a certificate, a workshop, a course etc. in just a few minutes. This can be now done over a couple of minutes during your lunch break, before you start your shift if you arrive ten minutes early or on your morning or afternoon break. Contrast this time with the extended period you’ll need to craft a resume and tax your brain recalling names, dates and titles when you actually need to put your resume together for a job.

Plan now for when you’ll need this information in the future and you’ll be glad you did.

3 thoughts on “Keep That Resume Current

    1. James it depends. For a job with the Province it could be up to 5 pages. For most others, 2 is recommended but check to see if the employer has left guidelines to follow first.


      1. I see. Mine is usually 3 pages, but on the 3rd page, there are just 2 sentences, lol. Guess I should use smaller fonts. Thanks for the reply anyhow Kelly.


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