Updating your resume is probably not on your to-do list unless you are looking for a new job. But it is important to do a resume update frequently. Most people only update their resumes when they are looking for a job, and there is nothing wrong with that. Nevertheless, if you are not sure what your answer to the question “Is It Time To Update Your Resume?” should be, continue reading.
Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, that doesn’t mean that an amazing opportunity may not come soon. Thanks to modern technology, networking takes place all day, every day. You never know when a recruiter might show up in your inbox, and submitting something that hasn’t been updated in a long time isn’t going to give the impression you are looking for. Also, what if you forget achievements that would help you shine as a candidate by updating them at the last minute.
How often should you update your resume?
Most experts recommend that the resume should be updated once every six months. That may sound like too much to you, especially if you don’t think something important has happened. But, taking the time to sit down and review the resume once every six months gives you an opportunity to think about all your accomplishments, big and small.
In general, all you need to do is add new skills or achievements and remove some that may be out of date or irrelevant. Obviously, it is important to add if you had a major career change such as a promotion, a job change, or perhaps an academic experience abroad. Similarly, if you have a new email, social media identifier, or even a new phone number, update them.
Have you mastered a new program or software? Definitely make room for those. Are you giving a lot of presentations or speaking at industry events? Did you create a new process that simplified things at your job? It could also be time to add those achievements. After adding new experiences, you may not have room for everything. So, it’s probably time to erase previous information.
What could you improve?
Once you have between 10 and 15 years of work experience, it is not necessary to list all the jobs you have had. On the other hand, instead of writing your professional objectives, add a professional summary. This is a short paragraph (three to four sentences) that summarizes who you are as a professional without duplicating what you mention on the resume.
Also, remember to adapt the resume with keywords from the job description you are applying for. Each industry has its own keywords, and those keywords can change over time.
Be sure to give the resume a “proper” file name when you save it. The file name can be your name plus the word “resume.” “First Name Last Name – Resume” or “Last Name, First Name – Resume” are good options. And finally, don’t forget to proofread and correct typos; there is nothing worse than sending a resume that talks about your lack of attention to detail.