A resume is meant to be an up-to-date, professional reflection of you. Is it? If we’re honest, most of us have our resume stored on a computer that is updated once a year, at best. But, if you want a resume that represents you well, you must view it as a work in progress that’s worthy of continual review and refreshing. Since last year, you’ve likely grown in your career, acquired more skills and accomplished new feats—make sure your resume touts these achievements!

Take time to assess and reflect

Looking good on paper should not be your only goal. You want a resume that’s pointed in the same direction that you are—professionally and personally. For example, if you’ve been working behind a desk for years but what you really desire is a job that allows you to interact with people, then make sure your resume supports your aspirations. Highlight your relational capabilities, list projects that demonstrate your people skills and note relevant accomplishments. If you want to switch lanes professionally speaking, your resume needs to be in the right gear. And, if you want to accelerate, you’ve got to show an employer you’ve got what it takes to keep pace!

Out with the old, in with the new …

Keep your resume fresh! As you progress in your career, some information will naturally drop off and some will require less detail—leaving room for the latest information. Keep the spotlight on your most current experience and achievements, bolstering areas that are essential to your next career move. Add new information pertaining to your professional growth, responsibilities, skills, training and results achieved. That way, when an opportunity comes your way, your resume is ready to go!

Look for what you lack

What’s missing from your resume? The best way to identify what you lack is to compare your resume to the job description of the next position you want to hold. Are your computer skills up to par? Do you need to branch out into new areas? Do you require more leadership experience? Whatever it is, start pursuing those things and build your resume!

A resume is only as strong as what you put on it. So, review your resume regularly, assess your career goals, keep content fresh and fill the gaps—never stop building your resume!