Its Monday morning at 9:00 am, you want to start your day off easy, so you log into LinkedIn and see that you have 6 notifications. One of them catches you off guard. “Congratulations, you’ve been at XYZ Company for 3 years!”. Has it already been 3 years already? Time flies when you’re having fun. Since you’ve been gainfully employed for a considerable amount of time the furthest thing from your mind? Updating your resume… Its been 3 years since you’ve updated your skills, your accomplishments, your responsibilities.
Even if you’re happy with your job it is important to stay up to date with your resume. In this economy anything can happen, can you really be certain in your job security? It’s better to be safe than sorry. You never know when you may get laid off or when an amazing opportunity may present itself.
Updating your resume doesn’t have to be a constant task on your daily to-do list BUT there are 5 times in your life you should remember to update your resume.
1. Update your resume when you get a new job:
The best time to update your resume is as soon as you get a new job. As soon as you land your dream job it is easy to sit back and try to forget about the grueling job search. If you take a moment to reflect on this job search, you’ll remember that it started with you writing your resume! Don’t put yourself through that again. Once you land your job, update your resume. While you’re adding your current position, you should have the job description on hand to copy to paste into your resume. HOWEVER, do not leave it like that. Once you’ve been in your position for a while you can use the pasted skills and responsibilities as a template to insert your real life experiences.
2. Update your resume when you get promoted:
Treat your promotions like getting a new job! You have just been tasked with a whole new list of responsibilities. Along with these responsibilities be sure to include statistics to your previous role to show why you got promoted. It’s ok to brag, in fact, it’s encouraged!
3. Update your resume when you complete a big project:
As we’ve mentioned before, it is encouraged to brag. Anytime you successfully finish a project, close a major transaction, or complete development on a new product, be sure to include it in your resume. Include stats that show how you impacted the company; who you worked alongside and any hurdles you’ve had to cross. Future employers want to see what you’ve accomplished and how you’ve contributed.
4. Update your resume when you acquire a new skill:
During your employment, you are constantly learning and developing your professional portfolio. As you’re adding your new skills, be aware of any skills you have listed that utilize outdated technology and remove the clutter. Most recruiters or HR personnel will use these skills as keywords to search for exact candidate matches. Market yourself, when you make it easy for people to find you, you increase your chances of getting the position you’re looking for.
5. Update your resume if you get laid off:
Unemployment as a result of a company’s failure is not a reflection of your skills, work ethic or talent. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being laid off, you need to show your resilience and the ability to bounce back. IF you try to hide the fact that you’re unemployed, it could put off perspective hiring managers. Include in your summary why you were terminated (e.g., “laid off as a part of a 20% reduction in staff.”)
In addition to this, you will want to include what you have been doing in your time of unemployment. This could include any educational readings, courses you’ve taken, or volunteer positions you’ve held. Showing your activity during your time of employment shows that you haven’t been defeated and have not taken ‘no’ for an answer.