Don’t throw out your old resumes

Recycle them!

Keep a clean copy of every résumé you have ever written.


Because résumés are a record of your life


Good résumés clearly list your education, working career, skills and most importantly your successes. Yes, rereading your past successes in old resumes can be inspirational. A particular task, skill, or job success may jog a happy memory that you have forgotten about.  Don’t just look at the Awards section of your résumé inspiration should shine with each job you’ve held.

If you’re not already including a brief summary with a quantifying point to each listing – start now!

How many times have puzzled over the buzz phrase quantify your résumé? They mean you should bottom line it. In plain English, what did you do to help you previous employer make money?

  Were you a top performer?

Did you increase sales?

Did you restructure the method to filing and archiving of records?

Did you streamline overhead?

If you’re newly out of school what was your Grade Point Average (GPA)?

Did you go above and beyond in a project that amazed your teachers?

Regardless, include a quantifiable achievement for each listing on your résumé. Let’s face it resumes are an example of self-promotion. Remember, when your potential employer is reading your résumé his or her primary thought is, What can you do for me?

Employer’s secondary thoughts are, How much will you cost to train? Or will you hit the ground running and not need any training?

As mentioned earlier, résumés are great memory jogs. Rereading your job summaries may trigger other memories that you hadn’t written down earlier but now, they’re relevant to the job you are applying for. Several times my older résumés have reminded me of an obscure skill that is relevant to a potential job.

Reading your old résumés will show you any career trends, strengths and areas where you can improve. Examples of improvement are usually upgrades such as computer skills or job specific licenses. Obvious trend examples on your résumé may be gaps or many job changes. Do you know why? Is the reason briefly explained on your résumé? What are you doing to correct the trends? For actors and consultants many previous jobs looks good on a résumé. But can you show a continuing connection with your previous projects?

Your best reasons for recycling old résumés are you’re not starting with a blank page and it’s faster! Think about it, you did most of the grunt work last time. How much personal, education and job history information will have changed since your last job? So, why cut off your nose to spite your face?

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