How Often Should I Update My Resume?
There is no specified number of times a resume should be updated. A resume is a constant work in progress. It is meant to be flexible and able to accommodate change. A resume should always reflect a candidate’s progression in the professional world.
An individual’s resume should always reflect his most recent, valuable, and relevant skills, experiences, training, certifications, and qualifications. As you are adding new information to your resume, you will be able to scrap out outdated information that is not of relevance to your resume anymore. There will always be changes in trends, you do not want to be carrying a resume with an outdated format. The key to landing yourself an interview invite lies in the strength of your resume. It is important to keep in mind that hundreds of other candidates are also applying to that same role you are applying to. There is no use submitting a resume without including a certificate, skill, training, or qualification that would give you an edge over other candidates. The company might just be recruiting one person for that role and the winning candidate will be selected based on different criteria.
For instance, the company might have two candidates left at the final stage, one of the candidates has an ICAN certification while the other candidate does not have an ICAN certification. Who do you think the recruiter will choose between the two? It will be disheartening if the second candidate has an ICAN certification but missed out on the opportunity because he failed to include it on his resume. The hiring manager is not a magician, he can not magically ascertain that the second candidate also has an ICAN certificate. That is the role the resume was supposed to play. So before you apply for a new job, it is necessary to review your resume to ascertain what information needs to be added to each section.
Whether you are applying for a new role or not, there are several instances when an updated resume can play a life-saving role. Even if you have been in the same role for a lifetime, over the years you must have gained skills and experiences that can propel you to a higher position. Some employees that have been in the workforce always think that there is no need to update their resume, but remember anyone could be laid off at any time as far as you are not the owner of the company.
Importance of updating your resume regularly
I have been able to highlight some of the importance of updating your resume in the introduction above. Below I will break down the importance of updating your resume in detail, to give you an in-depth knowledge of the topic at hand.
Lack of job security
In this workforce generation, there is no such thing as job security. As such, there is also no job loyalty. A company can employ you in January and decide to lay you off before the year runs out. Most times, it might be because of your performance but there are other instances when your performance has nothing to do with a company laying you off. The company might not be doing well financially and decide to cut down its budget, therefore laying off some employees. Another instance could be when the company is acquired by another company or during mergers. A lot of employees are laid off during this period. It is worst for an employee working at will. Such an employee can be laid off any time any day without explanation.
Changes in trends
As the popular saying goes “ the only constant thing is change” Nothing remains the same forever not even in the professional world. As said above, there is a lack of loyalty between employees and employers. This is not the era when an employee can work in the same company for 30 to 40 years. There are numerous reasons why an employee might want to change to a different company. It could be the need for growth, promotion, change in career path, employee benefits offered in the new company, poor operation in the recent company, or boredom from working in the same place for a long time. Sometimes when you stay in the same place for a long time, you might feel choked up and want to move to a new location. When this happens there will need to update your resume for new job opportunities.
Makes you ready for unexpected situations
Some circumstances are just beyond our control. No one wants to wake up one morning, go to work and come back with a sack letter. Just as much as you can not control bad situations, you can not also control good situations. Your manager or supervisor might have been keeping records of your good deeds and one day decides that you deserve a promotion. Some positions require that you have certain training, certifications, or training. The manager might ask you to quickly send him your resume. Just imagine his disappointment when he receives a resume that you used as entry-level personnel. Let’s assume you are smart enough to update the resume before sending it, you might not have enough time to do it properly. Another example could be when you are recommended for a position. You might just be out from school or even working in a particular company and happen to run into an old friend or family member that decides to recommend you for a position and ask you to send him your resume immediately. Will you start updating your resume at a dinner table or on the road to market? But if you already have an updated copy on your phone, you can just send it to the person that requested it.
It is a good way to analyze how far you have come
An updated resume is a good way to analyze where you began from, how far you have come, and where you plan to be. Those career goals that you wrote since 2015 how many have you achieved? What are the new goals to set? In what ways have you increased since you ventured into the business world? It gives you an overall view of your successes and failures.
Key indicators that you should Update your resume
A new job opportunity
A few months into your new job, there is a need to include that particular role and new company into your resume. Do not wait until you are dismissed from that job role before you include it in your resume. The date should start from the day you started your duty and the end date will contain till date. Unfortunately, if you are laid off along the road or you quit, all you need to do is change the date till the day you left. You can also touch up your skills section to include the skills you gained during your time in the company. This way you will not have much to change in times of emergency.
When an employee is promoted he is given a new job responsibility, a new employment contract, and certainly a change in the job title. This should also reflect in your resume. There will be a need to include a new job role in the work experience section. You will include the new functions or job responsibilities you have taken and do not forget to add this in your achievement section.
A good time to update the achievement section of your resume is when you close a major transaction or when you complete a new project. You might choose to hold on until you complete the project because not all projects pull through. If you add it earlier than that, you might forget to remove it if the project goes wrong, and it will create room for bias when recruiters are interviewing you. Just imagine being asked about a huge project you included on your resume and your final answer is that the project was unsuccessful. The recruiter will be skeptical about giving you a project contract or even hiring at all.
Always carry out a periodical assessment on your resume to remove outdated skills or obsolete information. Especially when applying for a new job. Every job advert comes with a job description. The job description will give you an idea of what is needed from a candidate. You need to narrow your skills to align with the skills in the job description. You can also add new accreditation, training, certifications, or language proficiency.
Part Of Resume That Should Be Updated
Every section in your resume is open to change. You can choose to change certain words or sentences. You can even choose to rewrite the resume. There is a need for touch-up, from the heading of the resume which includes the candidate’s personal information to the reference section( for candidates who choose to add this). For instance, the candidate might get married and change her surname. The candidate might relocate, in this case, there is a need to change the residential address. She might need to change the phone number on her resume if she is no longer using the same number. Going down to the resume summary, assuming the candidate wrote 3 years of experience the last time she updated her resume which was 2 years ago, she will need to update it to 5 years when submitting the resume to a new employer. The candidate will also need to add or remove other information under the resume summary. The same goes for the education section. If the candidate should complete her master’s study, she needs to add it to her resume. If she finishes an online course, she should add it to her resume. The candidate will need to include the job role she just left on her resume before applying to a new job role. You do not want to leave an employment gap that will bring up questions. The same goes for the skills, certification, award, and reference section.