Lost Your Resume? Here’s How You Can Recover the Information
by Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

What if you lost all your computer files — including your painstakingly prepared resume? Natural disasters, theft, computer crashes, viruses, or other computer or file damage can all cause the loss of important data. Here’s help for those confronted with the prospect of having to rebuild their resumes from scratch.

Before You Rebuild Your Resume

    • Check Your Monster Account: If you previously uploaded your resume to Monster, your task is easy. Log in to Monster to retrieve it. If you posted your resume on the Resume Tips message board, search the board with your user name to find it.
    • Check Your Email Account: If you’ve emailed your resume through a Web-based email program (such as Gmail or Yahoo), you could be in luck. Log in to your email account, and look for your resume in your Sent folder.
    • Ask Your Employer: See if current or previous employers have a copy of the resume or application you submitted when you were hired.
    • Contact Other Recipients of Your Resume: Many employers and recruiters store all resumes received, even from candidates who weren’t interviewed or hired. Explain your predicament to the HR department, and ask them to forward a copy of your resume. If you sent your resume to a friend or colleague for feedback or advice, see if that person saved a copy.
    • Ask Your Resume Writer: If you’ve had your resume professionally prepared, your resume writer probably keeps a copy on file. Even if it’s been several years since you had your resume prepared, at least you won’t have to start from scratch.
    • Hire an IT Guru: As long as you have access to the computer or disk your resume was stored on, an IT expert specializing in data recovery may be able to salvage files thought to be forever lost.

If It’s Really Gone

If your work history is lengthy, one of the hardest parts of re-creating the resume is remembering specifics of long-ago jobs. Here are some tips for uncovering career information:

    • Order a wage-history report from the Social Security Administration, which includes employment dates for reported earnings.
    • Request tax records from your accountant or tax preparer to help you remember employers and dates.
    • Track down former colleagues and supervisors to see if they remember details of your employment and achievements.
    • Ask previous employers if they have your performance reviews on file. These will help you reconstruct your top accomplishments.
    • Sit someplace quiet with a notepad and pen, and jot down your career progression from the time you finished your education. You may find that really concentrating and getting the facts down on paper will help you remember employment information.
    • Order transcripts from schools and training programs to get the details for your resume’s Education section. These documents will give you the names of courses you completed, your GPA and date of completion.

Three Easy Ways to Protect Your Resume

1. Create a Monster account if you haven’t already, and upload your resume. You’ll now be able to access your resume from any computer with Internet access. Keep your resume updated so that you can always access the latest version.

2. Email yourself an electronic copy of your resume at a Web-based email account or upload to cloud storage. Save the file in your inbox and/or sent folder, where you can retrieve it from any computer.

3. Keep both a printed and electronic copy on an external drive (along with other important papers) in a fireproof box and/or safe-deposit box. Make sure there’s at least one copy accessible outside of your home in case something happens to your computer.

This article was written by Kim Isaacs, director of ResumePower.com and author of The Career Change Resume book. Visit ResumePower.com to learn more about resume services to jump-start your career.

Copyright 2013 – Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article first appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career-related articles visit http://content.monster.com.