When’s the last time you revised your resume? Many people don’t even think about their resumes, much less updating them, unless they’re actively looking for a job. But, this could be a big mistake. Do you know that some experts recommend updating your resume at least once per year? There are actually several different situations that should inspire a revision, or even a total rewrite.
1. When you’re serious about wanting to move forward
If you are happy and secure in your current position, and see no reason that will change in the future, it might not be your top priority. That’s understandable. But, even if you are somewhat content in your role, updating your resume might be a good idea. The most ambitious should put it at the top of their lists — regardless of how they’re feeling about their current job.
Having an updated resume (available in print and online via professional networking sites) is an important step in advancing your career. Even if you’re not in an active job-search process, it could help get recruiters to pursue you, for example, which could lead to some awesome opportunities. So, if and when you’re really serious about wanting to move your career forward, update your resume.
2. When you shift career direction
Your resume should clearly articulate who you are and what you do, first and foremost. When that changes, it might be easier to begin an entirely new resume rather than simply trying to adjust the old one. Accept updating your resume as a part of the process when you take a new job or complete a degree. Additionally, plan to do a total rewrite when your goals change. Be sure that your resume clearly articulates your new goals, once you’ve gotten clear about where you’d like to head.
3. When you want to pitch yourself
An updated resume could come in handy, even if you aren’t looking for a new position. If you’re speaking at a conference, or if you’d like to, it would help to be able to pass something like this around to attendees and conference organizers. Similarly, if you’re being interviewed for an article, or attending a networking event, having copies of your updated resume on hand could be a big help. Consider cleaning up your resume a little when something like this is on the horizon.
Many people don't think about their resumes unless they're looking for a job. But that's a mistake.
4. When you update your online profiles
Your LinkedIn profile is not a static resume, but when you update one, it makes sense to update the other. It’ll keep your personal branding consistent, as well as reminding you to brush off your resume now and then. When you update your social media profiles and resume, make sure to use the right keywords. Without those buzzwords, it will be harder for the right people to find you online.
5. When you haven’t updated your resume for a while
Perhaps there is something to said for revising your resume on a routine basis. Once a year, or even every six months should be often enough when you’re not actively looking for a new job. Consider taking notes in between revisions, establishing a folder or a notebook for jotting down ideas. It should be pretty easy to make adjustments when you prepare in this way. It shouldn’t take you a lot of time, either. You might also consider making changes at a certain point in the year, like after an evaluation for example. Do this work when big ideas are on your mind anyway. It will save you time, and help you produce the highest quality resume.
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