Though the outlook for employment may seem grim with reports of companies executing mass layoffs, it doesn’t necessarily mean there are no jobs to be found. A simple search through Internet employment databases may reveal many vacancies, opportunities for you to stand out among others with your expertise. In order to get noticed and get the interview, however, it is important to have an updated, concise resume of your qualifications.

Take a look at your current resume. How long has it been since you last revised it? On average, a person may only update his vitae once a year, if at that. Often, a resume becomes an afterthought while one is employed, and unfortunately is hastily retooled when it is needed. So as not to be caught off-guard, it may be best to pull out your resume every three months or so to see what is relevant in your career path that needs to be recorded. Remember, a resume is not just a list of jobs you have held, but life experiences. A resume is a record of your continuing education through employment, community achievements, and your employable skills.

Have you learned any new skills in your present job that may benefit you during a new search? Work with new computer applications and others skills should be pointed out here. Larger companies emphasizing a sense of community among their employees may search for well-rounded candidates, so if you have done any recent volunteer work be sure to mention it. It is also a good idea to refresh your references, and list somebody who has worked with you in the last six months or so who can vouch for you during a job search.

For years the rule of thumb with resumes has been to keep everything to one page. If you have much information to share, it can be challenge to limit your experiences. Including a URL leading to a more detailed vitae may help an employer see a fuller picture of who you are and what you can bring to the company.

As you work, and as you search for work, remember to keep your resume current and relevant for the jobs you seek. This simple document is your first introduction to a potential employer, so have it ready to make a good impression.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on jobs in Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach website design.