You’ve been at your job for a few years now and things are going well. You enjoy what you do, your boss has given you great reviews, and the company seems to be headed in a positive direction. No harm in pushing your resume off to the wayside, right? Wrong.
Keeping your resume current is a good idea no matter where you are in your career. Even if you are not actively looking for a job, you should still periodically revisit your resume to keep it updated. You never know when you may need it.
- Unexpected Job Loss: The economy can fluctuate and your company may let you go unexpectedly. One day you may have a stable job and the next you are out looking. Having your resume ready to go can save you time and energy while you’re on the job hunt. You may have to make some minor adjustments but you won’t have to do a complete overhaul.
- Unexpected Job Opportunity: Sometimes when you’re not even looking a wonderful opportunity presents itself. If an employer were to contact you about an opening, you want to be able to send a polished resume back in a timely fashion. Rushing through to try to update it can leave room for making costly mistakes and it may not highlight your strongest skills or accomplishments.
- Recognition: If you are nominated for an award, often times you will be asked for your resume. This helps the committee to better understand who you are and what you have accomplished in your career. You want to make a strong impression, so knowing your resume is solid and reflects you in a positive light can make you feel more confident.
Periodically refining your resume can also alert you to areas where you could benefit from bolstering your experience. Perhaps this means enhancing your education, participating in professional development, joining a professional organization, or volunteering. These opportunities can all support you in improving your skills and marketability.
It can be a good idea to update your resume when the following changes occur:
- You complete a major project or achievement.
- You get a promotion.
- You gain new skills.
- Your contact information changes.
- You participate in professional development or certification courses.
- You win an award.
If you stay on top of these changes to your resume, you will have less to update later and reduce the risk of forgetting about key achievements. It can also be a great reminder of how far you have come and where you would like to head in the future. You can use your resume as a way to motivate you to keep pushing toward your goals.
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