If you work and intend to continue to work, then you need a current resume - the end!
Here are three hypotheticals, which represent common situations where a current resume has a decisive influence on the outcome.
- Alfie's works in a job that he's over. The phone rings, it's Billie. Billie and Alfie worked together a few years ago. Billie calls because a job's come up in her office that she thinks would suit Alfie. She gives him a rundown on the role, culture, opportunities and ballpark salary. If he's interested, she'll put him forward, and Alfie's very interested. Billie asks him to send his resume; Alfie says he'll work on it over the weekend and send it through on Monday. The weekend arrives, Alfie begins to look over his dated resume, and suddenly it seems to hard. He loses interest and does nothing about the new opportunity.
- Helen's has unique skills and wants to move into a role that helps her grow in her specialty. After tracking businesses and jobs for 6-months, an alert popped up last week for a job which sounded perfect. However a week on, Helen still hasn't applied, because she's can't finalise her resume.
- Kyle learned this week that his role was to be made redundant, and he'd be finishing up on Friday. Kyle's worked with the company for 15 years in a number of different positions but hasn't had to use a resume since he joined. Kyle needs to find a job quickly, but the idea of pulling together a resume feels overwhelming.
There are hundreds of excuses that stop people from maintaining a current resume and one compelling necessity for keeping it up to date, which is, to be prepared. Prepared, not just to share career history, but to have a fresh recall of your career and to be able to speak fluidly about your experience, achievements, and plans.
A minimal amount of research will point you in the direction of some templates, just make sure sure that whatever you use, it's relevant for Australia. Here's a couple of sites to start with: via Career One, Google and Hudson. If you find yourself getting stuck, to the point where you do nothing about getting your resume into shape, consider outsourcing the task to a professional*.
Summarising 10-15 years experience into 4 powerful pages, it's not untypical for a good resume to take between 20-30 hours to finalise. There are no shortcuts; it's a labourious, challenging process, but eventually it's done, a weight will be lifted from your shoulders, and you can jump on opportunities, and be prepared for job changes.
By the way, to those of you who think you'll struggle bringing your fabulous career down to a few pages, take note of George Tullie words (George was a 17th-century thinker):
The Reader will I doubt too soon discover that so large an interval of time was not spent in writing this discourse; the very length of it will convince him, that the writer had not time enough to make a shorter.
or as put more succinctly by Mark Twain:
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.