Santa Clara University

Career Corner:

Is your résumé ready?

Jon Sakurai-Horita

Last issue, I wrote about the importance of networking before you need to. One other thing you need to do “before you need to” is to update your résumé . Many people will only pull out their résumé to update it when they are seriously in a job search.

However, there are several reasons to update your résumé on a regular basis.

  • Sometimes you will need your résumé right away.
    Many job opportunities present themselves when you are not expecting them. You might be at a party or other social gathering when you hear about an interesting opportunity. If you have to look for your résumé or start to write your résumé, you may not be able to get it to the employer immediately.
  • It is easier to remember—and note on your résumé—your accomplishments as they occur, so they will be fresh in your mind.
  • It is good to review your background information on your résumé to determine that it is current and relevant.

The résumé you send to a prospective employer should be focused and targeted to that employer and position. In order to do this:

  • Create a master résumé which includes all your past experience and accomplishments.
  • Keep a folder (or box) handy where you can file notes to yourself regarding your accomplishments and activities.
  • Every six months, pull your notes out and add them to your master résumé.
  • When you are applying for a position, cut and paste your information from the master résumé to make it focused to the particular position to which you are applying.

You never know when the next opportunity will be presented to you. Whether you are formally networking or just meeting new people, you should be ready for that opportunity.

Jon Sakurai-Horita is assistant director of the Career Center. Call him at 408-554-4421 or e-mail him at Visit the Career Center online at
Printer-friendly format