I cannot count the number of times I’ve advised people to revisit their resume often. How often is that exactly? The answer is simple: as often as necessary. Whenever something changes, as soon as you have new experience, skills, knowledge, education or training that would benefit your resume, add it.
Everyone, whether happily in a job or not planning to apply anywhere in the foreseeable future should get into the habit of noting whenever something would be beneficial for their resume. You never know when you will need your resume next. Think about your dream job. If a job opening came up for your dream job, you know, the kind of opportunity you don’t want to miss – would your resume be ready to hand in today?
By noting whenever something new happens, you will keep your resume up to date and ready to go. The physical act of updating your resume on the computer might not be possible (e.g., don’t have access to a computer or are super busy). Instead get into the mindset of noting whenever something would be helpful to land your next job. When you have those thoughts, just grab a pen and jot them down on a copy of your resume or keep important documents (such as certificates, performance reviews, workshop notes) in a folder or binder. Then make a date with yourself to update your resume on the computer every three to six months to keep it current.
Here’s a little story to illustrate my point. Recently I found the ideal job for me. Problem was I hadn’t updated my resume in over three years! I was very busy and the closing date was only a couple hours from when I found the posting. I emailed the hiring manager and sent her a link to my LinkedIn profile, but it was not enough. Not only did I not have a current resume, my LinkedIn profile was out of date too. Turn the clock forward a bit and I got contacted on Twitter with an opportunity for my dream job! Super exciting I know, but I still hadn’t updated my resume! I had spent hours updating my LinkedIn profile which lead to being recruited, but I still had to put my life on hold so I could update my resume and get it in on time.
As you go about your life and are making your way along your career path, make note of your key accomplishments and experiences so you will be ready for your next big opportunity. It also helps you to identify skill gaps so you can make a learning plan to address them. Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile (if you have one) up to date so you are ready for your next big opportunity.