“Quick, think back over the last 14 years of your life and write down all the important career things that have happened to you. I need it in two days!”
This is what happened last year when I found myself unexpectedly needing my resume. You see, I have been at my job for 14 years. I love my teaching assignment and my district. I live close to family and friends, and I have a short commute. Life is pretty good in my teaching world and I have no desire to change jobs, so I really never gave much thought to keeping my resume up-to-date.
The truth is that switching jobs isn’t the only reason you need an up-to-date resume. I was being asked for my resume because I was being nominated for an award. You could also need your resume for a promotion or additional accreditation within your district. You could need it for a side job, like teaching at a local art center. Your local paper might need it for an upcoming article. Plus, you never know when you might find yourself out of a job due to things outside of your control. Regardless of why you need your resume, waiting until you need it is not recommended.
Updating my resume was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Looking back over 14 years of teaching involved a lot of searching for dates of art shows, questioning the years of national conference attendance, reviewing awards for myself and my students, remembering district presentations, and more. It was stressful trying to remember everything. It felt like every day I would remember “one more thing.” About a quarter of the way through the process, I really, really was wishing I had kept my resume up-to-date all along.
My advice is to keep your resume information up-to-date. Notice I said, “resume information” and not “resume.” You don’t need to redesign your whole resume each time you accomplish something new. However, keeping track of the dates and info will allow you to incorporate everything at once when you need to. Both Business News Daily and Business Insider say that today’s resume needs to have your accomplishments and achievements but also links to your digital presence and statistics regarding what you bring to the position. So, think about recording that type of information as well.
After searching, checking, and double checking, I finally created a fill-in-the-blank document that allows me to track what I do each year. If you’re interested, you can download the PDF below or a customizable version here.
Every time you accomplish something that’s resume-worthy, add it to the list. A few minutes here and there, or even 20 minutes at the end of each school year spent filling in the form, will save you hours of time when you get a request for your resume information.
What have you needed your resume information for?
How do you keep track of your professional achievements?