Most companies have a policy that employees must update their resume annually; however, few companies enforce the policy. When employees do not update their resumes, the company loses valuable past performance information and proof points for proposals, and the employee loses the opportunity for recognition. For example, I was assigned to update the resume of a programmer who worked onsite with the customer far from the company’s headquarters. After talking to him, I found the Patent and Trademark Office awarded him several patents on behalf of the customer, which saved the customer millions of dollars. The customer was well aware of this contribution, but the company was not.
Most employees who comply with the policy to update their resumes annually normally only add a brief sentence or two about their new responsibilities. In general, they explain the duties they perform, but not how well they performed them or if their actions benefited the customer. To make updating resumes a win-win proposition instead of a chore, consider teaching staff members how to prepare a professional accomplishment-based resume, and reward employees with awards or small bonuses for a job well done.
Since some employees find it hard to write about themselves, consider pairing them with a co-worker, who will interview them and update their resume and vice versa. In the end, the company will win with improved past performance information and proof points, and the employee will obtain a professional, attention-getting resume and the potential for special recognition by the company.
By Brenda Crist, Managing Director, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow