We have all had someone in our lives tell us that it is a good idea to keep your resume updated and as HR professionals we have probably given this advice to others, however too often we do not take that advice. I firmly believe in the 30 day update (now). It is much harder to remember all of your AWESOME achievements (say over the last 7 years) than if you were to have just updated your resume every 30 (or at least SIXTY) days. It is also fairly easy to forget how much you’ve grown in your position (again, maybe over the last 7 years?) if you’re not constantly updating.
Sometimes we tell ourselves this silly little line “I’m not really planning on going anywhere so I don’t need to update my resume…” [pffffffft!] While this may be true, what about if an internal job opens up? Won’t you need to submit your resume when you want to be considered for an internal transfer? In most organizations the answer to that is YES.
BUT- I KNOW for a fact that I am not leaving my company. Well, do you have a LinkedIn? Keep it updated. I believe that an up to date resume or LinkedIn profile is good advertising for your company if you truly believe you aren’t going anywhere. Having a document ready that showcases your skills can be an asset to your employer. It could be just the thing they need on hand to win a contract or to set their business apart from a competitor?
But I don’t want to OVER UPDATE my resume. Listen-it’s easier to cut out the unnecessary when it comes time to pull your resume off your jump drive than to add all of the relevant tasks you’ve done over a career. I still think it is important to keep your resume at a reasonable length, so if you are finding that your resume is growing into a novel you should pick the top achievements and cut the other ones into another document for reference down the road if necessary.
I can’t tell you how many times in my recruiting career I’ve talked to someone who said something along the lines of “I haven’t had to do a resume in over 10 years… I don’t even know where to start.” That has to go. Scarily enough, some of those comments have come from HR professionals. We take for granted that we spend a lot of time looking at resumes and critiquing them that we will have no problem doing our own. That is not always the case. Resume writing can just as easily be overwhelming to HR professionals as anyone else. You never know what is going to happen, your company could close its doors in 60 days, you could get laid off without notice, you could get angry and quit (hey, everyone has a breaking point). The job hunt can be a lot less stressful if you have your resume almost ready to go! Again, I know 30 days sounds kind of often, but you’ve done a lot in the last 30 days. Maybe you just wrapped up an audit. Maybe you just learned a new line of business. Learned to operate a machine you haven’t operated before. Joined a committee. Created an award-winning presentation. Earned a certificate. Do you get the point yet? Now get off my blog and go update your resume!