Most people are out of a job or at their wits end before starting to look for a job and start their resume. Having a resume ready to go is obviously a better strategy. And preparing for writing your resume well before you need it will make your efforts so much easier. What do I mean?
In each position you hold, you should set up a computer or hard copy folder to maintain notes on key projects and accomplishments as well as any letters or recognitions / awards. Put the month / year it was accomplished and the overall objective / result of what you did or what the recognition was for. If you aren’t the organized type, just jot the information down on a piece of paper, even scrap paper if that’s what you have around, and throw it into your file. Keep doing this each time and you won’t have to work so hard on trying to remember what to include to showcase your talents. Other ideas to help your memory? Here are a few:
Save your day planners which are a wealth of information to look back on and pull out achievements and awards. If you are really into this, you can save time by putting an asterisk by those entries that you know will be worth mentioning on your resume, so it will be easy to find even years later.
Save your performance reviews for the same reason as saving your day planner. Plus, you can pull out some great quotes which are great on resumes to show that your manager or customer or colleague valued you and what you were specifically complimented on. I guarantee there will be loads of things you have forgotten about.
Talk to colleagues you worked with (and that you trust if you need to keep things confidential). Sometimes they are not only remembering things you forgot, they find value with things you simply thought was doing your job.