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Mid-September is the perfect time to pull out your resume and get it in shape for 2018.

Whether you plan to job-hunt next year or not, an annual resume update is a very good idea. You are the CEO of your career. Your resume is your presentation to people who don’t know you. Make sure it still represents who you are!

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When you take the time to reflect on the past year — or whatever period of time has elapsed since you last read your resume — you set intention for the year ahead. You tell the world and yourself “Here’s what I want.”

When you get ready to update your resume, there are a few important steps to take before you start writing.

You could simply open the resume document and check over the resume to make sure nothing important has changed, but how would that help you?

You can do more than add one or two bullet points to your resume when you give it a 2018 makeover.

You can put a tremendous amount of power and punch into your resume by adding a human voice.

 
You can tell anyone reading your resume (including yourself) not only what you’ve done professionally so far, but also a bit more — perhaps the reason you chose your field, or your specific take on your profession, or both.

It takes time and energy to put a human voice in your resume, because it requires you to ask and answer questions about your brand — that is, questions about who you are and want to be professionally, and what you want from your life and career.

Most of us don’t think of a resume-updating project as a deep exploration of our life goals, but it can be that — and it can only help you to step into your resume-updating adventure with that mindset.

Your resume starts with your name and contact details at the top of the page.

After that you’ll write a brief Summary that describes you and your background in a few words.

Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter and read Forbes columns. Liz’s book Reinvention Roadmap is here.

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