If you’re like most people, you probably only think about your resume when you’re looking for a new job. But did you realize that keeping your resume up to date regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a new job is critical? So, how do you know when it’s the right time to give your resume a refresh? In this article, we’ll explore five signs it might be time to give your resume some TLC.
Update your resume if: Your resume no longer reflects who you are
Previously, we’ve written about the importance of having a resume that reflects who you are as a person, which you can read here. As humans, it’s natural for us to change and evolve as we grow older, work in different positions, and learn new things. So, our resumes must reflect these changes as well.
Read through your current resume and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your resume hook the reader in and naturally flow from one section to the other?
- Does your resume focus on your passions i.e. why did you love your previous roles?
- Does your resume convey what you’re trying to get across to the reader clearly and concisely?
- Does your resume still represent who you truly are as a person?
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, then it might be time to update your resume to reflect where you currently are in your career journey. If you’d like to learn more about writing a resume to reflect who you are, check out our 5-minute video here.
Update your resume if: It’s been over a year since you last updated your resume
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to keep your resume updated even if you’re not looking for a new job. If it’s been more than 12 months since you last updated your resume, it’s time for a refresh. Many things can change in a year, so it’s important to ensure that your resume reflects these changes. While the thought of updating your resume may seem daunting, by putting aside a few minutes each month to make small changes, you can avoid having to do a major overhaul later. It also means that you’ll be adequately prepared anytime a perfect job opportunity comes your way.
Update your resume if: You’ve recently started a new job or received a promotion
Starting a new job or getting a promotion creates another great opportunity to audit your resume and update it accordingly. If you’ve been in your current role for a while and have since taken on more responsibilities, it’s time to update your resume. The same goes for if you’ve recently changed industries or positions. However, it’s important to remember that your resume isn’t a document purely for listing your employment history. Your resume is a marketing tool that should be used to sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the role. To do this, make sure to remove any previous jobs or work experiences that are no longer relevant to the role or industry you’re applying for. Instead of just listing your key responsibilities, try instead to also highlight your achievements in each role. This will show employers that you’re capable of delivering results and meeting goals.
Update your resume if: You’ve obtained new skills or qualifications since you last updated your resume
If you’ve recently obtained new skills (either soft skills or hard skills) and/or qualifications, it’s important to include these on your resume. This will show potential employers that you’re continuing to develop and grow as a professional. It’s also a good idea to review previous skills you’ve listed and remove any that seem outdated or too basic to include on your resume.
Update your resume if: Your resume format is outdated
While your resume doesn’t need to be particularly visually interesting, it does need to follow certain formatting and design principles.
Here are some to think about:
- Is your resume easy to read?
- Are the font types and sizes easy on the eyes and consistent?
- Is there enough white space on the page to help break up the content?
- Do all your headings and subheadings have corresponding formatting (e.g., bold, italics)?
- Are you using paragraphs when bullet points would suffice?
- Is the layout cluttered or too busy?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, it’s a good idea to dedicate some time to get everything on your resume looking consistent and professional.
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