Search
Advice » Resumes & Letters» Resume Writing Tips » Bolster Your Resume with a ...
Bolster Your Resume with a Career Record

Bolster Your Resume with a Career Record

By Peter Weddle, for Yahoo! HotJobs

Most of us spend the majority of our waking day at work, and the only record we have of that time and effort is a resume. We invest inordinate amounts of energy and emotion in our employment and memorialize that commitment in a document that is often out-of-date and incomplete. When we rely on a resume alone to manage our careers and celebrate our success, we sell ourselves short.

In my view, all of us should maintain two employment-related documents: a resume and something I call a career record. What's the difference?  Take a look below.

Your Resume

  • It's normally written and/or updated only when you are actively looking for a job.
     
  • Its purpose is to sell you to an employer by describing what you've done in the past that might be useful to the organization in the future.
     
  • Writing it is about as much fun as getting a root canal.

Your Career Record

  • It's written continuously and reviewed quarterly. Think of it as a diary of your progress and your success in the world of work.
     
  • Its purposes are to help you recognize and celebrate your career victories (i.e., your achievements at work) and to determine if your career is in good shape or in need of an overhaul.  In other words, a career record is written for you and describes what you've done for yourself.
     
  • Keeping a career record is a fulfilling and self-motivating experience. It enables you to pat yourself on the back regularly (or give yourself a pep talk, if that's what is necessary) and set your sights on new goals at work that will lead you to additional career victories.

Now, I know what you're thinking: It's hard enough to write a resume and keep it current, so why am I'm proposing that you double the effort?  Because, in addition to being a personal pat on the back (which is, itself, the foundation of a healthy career), a career record can also make writing a resume infinitely easier.

Customize Your Resume

In the past, recruiters were willing to accept a generic resume from job seekers, as long as you were applying for positions within the same industry and/or career field. They knew how hard it was to produce even a single version of that document, so all they asked was that you include a cover letter to highlight those aspects of your record that were important for their particular opening.

Today, unfortunately, that kind of flexibility is gone. Thanks to the Internet, recruiters are receiving hundreds, often thousands of resumes for a single opening. They simply don't have the time to read between the lines and ferret out your qualifications for their opportunity. Moreover, recruiters know that your resume has been produced on a word processor where it can be easily and quickly modified. As a result, they now expect your resume itself to be tailored to the specific requirements of their opening and your cover letter to reinforce its key points.

Two Tailoring Approaches

  • Customize Your Generic Resume: You simply add a little more detail to those points in the resume that are important to an opening, and subtract detail from or delete altogether those points that aren't important. While this approach can be relatively quick and easy, it is also likely to under-represent your qualifications. Instead of picking the best of your background for a position, you're nipping and tucking at what's immediately available.
     
  • Tailor Your Resume from the Bottom Up: Admittedly, that would be a difficult and time-consuming task if you had to sit down and start from scratch.  But you don't; your career record is a complete and up-to-date inventory of your skills, expertise and experience. It enables you to pull out all of the factors that are most important to winning the job you want and to incorporate those factors in your resume quickly and easily.

A resume remains the lingua franca of job-search success in the world of work. For a resume to communicate your credentials effectively, however, it must be tailored to the specific requirements of a position vacancy. A career record enables you to accomplish that tailoring to your best advantage. 

[Peter Weddle is an author, recruiter and HR consultant. He runs the Weddle's career resource site.]  

Latest Jobs

Gabriel Wines
Posted: 11/24/2014
Los Angeles, CA, 90001
CareersUSA
Posted: 11/24/2014
Boca Raton, FL, 33487
CareersUSA
Posted: 11/24/2014
Plantation, FL, 33324
CareersUSA
Posted: 11/24/2014
Coatesville, PA, 19320
CareersUSA
Posted: 11/24/2014
Miami, FL, 33054

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.11.0.15-317
eTrustLogo