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A simple way to keep your resume updated

I have a simple way to keep my resume updated.

I update my resume once a year at the same time I write my annual performance review.

It’s easier this way because I have already gathered data needed to summarize my accomplishments for the year and it’s only a small amount of information to add. If you keep your resume in an electronic file it’s a simple step to open, edit, and be done. If you’re like me, I consider my resume and online LinkedIn profile one in the same. I blogged about merging the resume and online profile back in 2011 and I haven’t gone back to the old way.  If you need the online profile in a document LinkedIn provides the ability to save your profile as a PDF.

The LinkedIn profile can be far more feature rich as well. LinkedIn provides the ability to link to work in your portfolio or even show samples of your work on the page.

So why be stale? Why make it an ordeal to gather data about past accomplishments years afterwards? Get your profile up-to-date and refresh it at least annually.

No more resumes – welcome to your profile portal

Everything has a time to end.
I consider the traditional resume to be a retired artifact of days in the past. I keep my professional profile “in the cloud” using the service from LinkedIn. It’s not that LinkedIn is the only way to do this, but it is a widely used location for such information and makes data more readily available for to me reference and others to see.

If someone asks for my resume, I can give them a copy of a traditional resume. But it’s really just a replica of my online professional profile. In fact, I used a LinkedIn Labs creation which takes the information in my profile and formats it in an accepted resume format. Putting it in PDF or Word document format allows it be stored, printed, or otherwise meet the criteria of some process. But why not just store a link?

The online profile is really a profile portal.
More important is that my online profile contains links to content I have created. It serves as a portal to other information about me; my blog, my twitter feed, a mind map repository, group members, forum answers, etc. These are all links to places giving anyone a more thorough look at who I really am. It’s more than a resume. It’s like an instant professional portfolio of work and it is immediately accessible.

Think about that. Resumes are known for stretching the truth. They can be embellished. But links to actual work, my thoughts, my writing, my creations aren’t in the resume. The profile portal is authentic, it’s transparent, it’s the real-deal.

That’s scary. What about privacy?
Privacy is certainly a big topic. Blogs, twitter, google profiles, even Facebook are all areas of public access and when people put information there it is to a degree accessible by some group of people. But remember, I’m talking about a professional profile here, not about details of what you and your family did last weekend. Keep your private life separate from your professional life within your content.

Why does it matter? Isn’t a resume just for job searches?
No. Don’t think resume, think online profile. This makes it possible to research prospective employee hires, clients, partners, etc. Profile portals contain information to help you research and transact business. Know who you are dealing with, from employees to suppliers. If your profile portal is short on linked information, then make a plan to build-it-up. It could make a difference in your next business deal or job search.

I’m always looking for new ideas and ways to leverage an online profile. Let me know your thoughts.