There’s an old saying that “it’s not what you know but who you know” and another that says “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Whether or not you agree with either statement, it makes sense to keep your resume up-to-date. In this economy, you’ll never know when you’ll need it.
But how do you know when it’s time to brush up your curriculum vitae?
A current resume is critical when job-hunting.
Haven’t Received Much Response to Your Current Resume
If you’re actively seeking employment and not getting any response, take a hard look at your resume to see where it can be improved. Get a third party to double check your work– two sets of eyes are often better than one.
Verify your online presence to ensure there’s nothing that might turn off potential employers. Many employers check a candidate’s online reputation before deciding to make contact. Set up a Google Alert for your name, or use one of the free or paid services like Reputation.com to monitor this on a regular basis.
You Haven’t Updated Your Resume in a Couple of Years
Thoughts of resumes quickly fall by the wayside the minute anyone gets a job. However, keeping your resume updated makes job-hunting much easier the next time around. If you’re still at the same job since the last time you updated your resume, a quick touchup is probably all that is necessary. A new degree or advanced training are typical things that may need to be added.
If it’s been more than a couple of years, chances are that your resume is in need of a complete overhaul. In this case, it’s not just a matter of updating some data, but ensuring the presentation matches what employers now expect.
You’ve Changed Jobs
No job lasts forever, at least not in the 21st century. Stuff happens, and you need to be prepared and ready to meet with hiring managers at a moment’s notice. If you’ve changed jobs, revise your resume immediately with your job title and start date. Who knows? One day you may be a candidate for a job requiring a certain amount of experience. Update this information now, and you’ll have it on hand for those who need the details. Having this precise information available also creates a better impression by proving your attention to detail.
You’ve Earned Another Degree
Whether it’s a degree, certification, or any other type of formal qualification, make sure to update your resume with the pertinent details. Work-related awards also fall into this category, because you never know how significant they may be to a potential employer.
By keeping information current, you ensure your resume accurately reflects your experience and shows why you are the right person for the job. It’s even better if you can relate how the additional training brought value to the company you worked for. Concrete examples always work best so that you don’t leave the reader guessing.
Your Contact Details Have Changed
You wouldn’t be the first person to send out their resume with old contact details. It happens! Obviously you need to bring your resume up to date when you move, but it also applies to those who have their name changed, like when they get married. Double check your online contact information as well. Things like old university email addresses or social media accounts often need to be revised or removed in their entirety.
Keep your resume updated on a regular basis, and you’ll avoid the need for an extreme makeover.
Stephen Jeske is an avid outdoor enthusiast with a passion for coffee. He frequently writes on small business, careers, and reputation management.
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