September is International Update Your Resume Month! Most people don’t think about updating their resumes (or CVs as we like to call them here in the UK) until they find a suitable vacancy. But updating your CV doesn’t need to be a time consuming or painful experience.

Here are five ways to celebrate this month—that go beyond adding words to a document.

1. Start a Boasting File

This file should include all the 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 organise everything according to a year of employment or company name. This boasting 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

Demonstrating new professional skills and interests on your CV is a good way of getting noticed by employers. You can enrol in classes through your local council organisations, industry groups or even university. Or you can take an online course through the many distant learning websites. There are a wide variety of classes available in these sites, ranging from learning to code, creative writing, AutoCAD designing, psychology, marketing, and so on.

Once completed so you can add that to the Training section in your CV and the Courses section in your LinkedIn Profile. You could even write a blog about what you’ve learned and how businesses could benefit from utilising these skills.

3. Negotiate a Better Package

An updated CV can advance your career in many ways, not just by earning you a higher job title. A powerful CV can help you negotiate a higher salary or other benefits such as flexible working hours or employer-sponsored training programmes. Unfortunately, many candidates don’t negotiate their initial offer, fearing they might lose it if they ask for more. In fact, not negotiating during the initial job offer can result in an average employee losing around $5000 per year.

When it comes to negotiating focus on the value that you bring to the organisation. This includes your experience, qualifications, proven track record, LinkedIn recommendations, and tie them up to the time and money you saved (or earned) for your either your current or previous employer.

Create a list of achievements then use this as your talking points when you’re negotiating with your current employer. Don’t forget to hand your counterpart a list of all those accomplishments, in case he or she needs to show it to their boss or HR.

4. Get a Second Job

Having one job and being committed to it demonstrates employer loyalty but there are plenty of reasons why it can be an excellent idea to take on a second job. Here’s six just for starters:

  1. Prospect of extra income
  2. Serves as a foundation for building your own business in the future
  3. Adds another entry in your CV’s work history
  4. Creates a sense of independence
  5. Increases your network or connect you to another employer willing to pay more
  6. Gives you more accomplishments, experiences and stories to share during job interviews

Finding a second career can be difficult, but like anything, if you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want.

5. Explore LinkedIn’s Hidden Potential

You should start exploring LinkedIn’s different functionalities to help you learn more about the sector you want to work in and to build networks within it. LinkedIn regularly adds new features that help to broaden your network and make job searching easier. These are published on LinkedIn’s own blog, as and when they’re rolled out.

These are only a few alternative ways you can celebrate International Update Your Resume Month. At ABCV Solutions, we specialise in CV Writing for Engineers and Technical Specialists, however, you’ll find these suggestions can apply to almost anyone in any industry!  Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.


About the Author: Amelia Brooke is an internationally recognised CV Writer and a member of several prestigious career, training, and CV writing organisations including the Professional Association of Résumé Writer (PARW/CC) and Career Thought Leaders. Amelia has written hundreds of CVs and LinkedIn profiles for clients in the engineering and technology sectors.