Although most serious job seekers know how important it is to update a resume when looking for a new job, much of the workforce forgets about their resumes once the job is acquired.
This is a huge mistake.
Your resume is your first impression, your portfolio of accomplishments (not just skills!), and your chance to demonstrate the value that you can bring to a new company or position. To put your best foot forward, your resume should always be fresh, showcasing your concrete contributions and their impact.
The problem, though, is that a lot of are forgetful. And if we wait to update our resumes only when job hunting, we’ll probably forget to add some key accomplishments.
Update Every Time You Hit a New Milestone
According to the financial advice website Motley Fool, you should be updating your resume anytime you meet one of the following criteria:
- Get a promotion
- Complete a major project
- Obtain certification or degree
- Master a new skill
It’s also a good idea to update your resume any time you receive a set of numbers that you directly contributed to that indicate growth or success. For example, if at your quarterly meeting you discover that your team increased website conversions by 12% and you’re on that team, it’s resume update time! Or if your regional manager says your store decreased inventory loss by 16%, get that onto your resume. Or if your grassroots campaign earned $50,000 in donations, list it.
Showing how your business improved and how you contributed to that success is a key element of crafting your resume.
Update At Least Twice a Year
Let’s say nothing spectacular happened in the last six months. You didn’t earn a new title and your team missed your numbers. You still need to have a look at your resume and consider refreshing it. Why? Because the skills and accomplishments that you highlighted six months ago may not necessarily align to your current goals and aspirations. Or perhaps you’ve had time to realize that while the bullets you’ve listed are still applicable, they’re not the best representation of what you have to offer. Maybe you’ve realized another skill you possess or another goal you accomplished is more interesting, salient, or just plain makes you stand out more.
Always Be Prepared
You never know when the opportunity can strike, and you don’t want to find yourself empty-handed when the moment appears. You should always have a fresh resume ready to drop into an email on a moment’s notice. The last thing you want is to be hurried when updating your resume—you’re bound to leave something out or make an embarrassing typing or spelling mistake. So update regularly so that if an unexpected opportunity appears, you’re ready to snatch it up.
Get a Professional to Help
If you’re unsure what to include in your resume, what to leave out, or how to best sell yourself, drop us a line. We’d love to help you land the job of your dreams.