When Should You Update Your Resume?

with No Comments

When should you update your resume?
How often should I update my resume, you ask? And if you’re not asking, you should be, because the answer isn’t what you think it is.

Should I wait until I need a new job to update my resume?

Do NOT wait to update your resume until you need a new job! Once you’re ready to move on to a new job, especially from sudden unemployment, your resume needs to hit the ground running. And you never know when that might be:

  • The perfect career opportunity finds you when you weren’t looking.
  • That perfect career opportunity closes at 11:59 p.m. tonight.
  • You’ve forgotten—or don’t have handy—a ton of key info because you’re updating your resume in a hurry.

I recently wrote a resume for a newly retired police officer who hadn’t updated his resume in 30 years. (It was like Back to the Future, with experience from 1985!) That’s extreme, but waiting even one year between resume updates can impact the quality of your resume—the most important career document you own.

So how often should I update my resume?

My take on how often you should update your resume? Quarterly. Set a recurring task on your calendar to add your new skills and achievements to your resume. Personally, I make notes in Google Drive as soon as I complete a project, learn a skill, or achieve something nifty. I also upload files to my portfolio. More important, I update my LinkedIn profile in real time so my network can see my most current professional snapshot.

By the way, how IS your LinkedIn profile and how should it be different from your resume?

What content should I update on my resume?

As you add new skills and achievements once a quarter, you should also review your resume for formatting and content. Is your resume modern and mobile friendly? Does it contain any content it shouldn’t, like one of these nine resume sins you’re committing right now?

Can a professional resume writer help me write a better resume?

Yes, a professional resume writer skilled with resume preparation can help you present your journey in the best light, tailored to the job and industry you want. Remember my retired police officer? Hiring managers told him his new resume “told his story very well.” And no two stories are alike.

Trust me to help you tell your best story through:

  • Information to include and highlight—what makes your resume shine, and what’s missing
  • Information to burn with fire—what weakens your resume
  • Section headers ordered and tailored to your strengths
  • Resume format (chronological, functional, or combination) that’s engaging and easy to follow
  • Career highlights appropriate to your career level and industry
  • Elimination of embarrassing typos and grammatical errors

Most people wait to update their resume until they are desperate for a new job. But not you! And when you’re ready to update, Fuzzy Red Pen Copywriting and I are here to help. I’ll strategically craft your content to make it stand out against the competition. Your resume should tell an intentional story—just make sure it says more than “Im gud at werk.”

Follow Jocelyn Schamber:

Writing Whiz and Error Eradicator at Fuzzy Red Pen Copywriting

Grammando, gamer girl, geek. Providing hot and spicy content to individuals, small businesses, and government entities since 2002.

Share Your Thoughts!