September 22, 2023

Return Back To Work With Confidence: National Update Your Resume Month

Guest Blogger Nicole Jarvis, LMSW, Assistant Director of Programs, Cancer and Careers / CEW Foundation

With September being National Update Your Resume Month, it’s the perfect reminder that regularly updating your resume is a great way to stay current. Cancer and Careers works with cancer patients and survivors who are often navigating a job search. Some may be recently unemployed, some may have been out of work for some time, and others may be currently employed but looking to make a change for a variety of reasons. Regardless of your employment status, an up-to-date resume can be key.

Our free Resume Review Service offers users the opportunity to have a career expert provide insight, critiques, and suggestions based on the information provided to them. A common concern is a resume gap. A gap can discourage an applicant from applying, worrying that they won’t even be considered. While the worry is valid, a gap is less of a red flag than it once was, especially following the 2008 recession and more recently the pandemic. It can also be wise to include unpaid activities, such as volunteering, internships, or professional development courses you’ve done.

People often update their resumes because they desire a career change. Such transitions can be spurred by new interests, the decision to pursue a long-held passion, or changes due to side effects from treatment. This is a time to evaluate and identify your strengths and skills, and articulate how they can work in different settings.

It’s also important to understand what makes a strong resume. Be conscious of length and keep it simple and easy to read, without employing distracting fonts or special effects. Think through what will help you to stand out and how to include it, particularly how to write accomplishments on your resume. Perhaps most important is understanding the role of keywords. Many companies use software to scan resumes that identify keywords that relate to the job. Download our checklist of frequently used keywords to help increase your chances of the software identifying you as a strong candidate.

There is a lot to think about when it comes to writing and maintaining your resume. For more information, check out our Job Search webinar recording, which includes a comprehensive overview of the many aspects of the job search, including writing a strong resume. Always feel free to reach out to with any questions!

Editor’s note: Allsup helps individuals living with cancer and other medical conditions return to work.