Keeping Your Resume Current

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You never know when an opportunity might require you to submit your resume, and it’s best to be prepared for any scenario. Whether you are laid off or pursuing new opportunities, your resume should reflect your current status. Part of putting your best information out there for recruiters and hiring managers is keeping things up to date. Regularly updating your information reduces the risk of presenting inaccuracies that can result from waiting too long to record critical dates and employment scenarios.

Always In the Market

“Many professionals make the mistake of neglecting to update their resumes because they aren’t looking for a job,” says career counselor Josh Woodrow. He advises people to update information every two to four months. “In this economy there’s still some lingering uncertainty and people don’t know when they might be forced to start looking.” Woodrow believes that keeping up with current technology and mastering new skills means that resumes have to be updated more than ever before. “Whether you have a resume posted online or an electronic copy, it’s easy to alter information. If hiring managers perceive that you’re not presenting your latest, greatest achievements, they’ll find someone who is,” he says.

Stay Prepared

It’s always best to get ahead early in the game in case you suddenly need to submit a resume. Computer files and Web sites are conveniently modified and creating multiple computer file versions can save you time later. If a deadline is approaching and you don’t have anything prepared, rushing to submit a resume could lead to errors or omissions. Here are other resume pointers to keep in mind:

  • Reassess your resume whenever you apply for a position
  • Include career related milestones, special recognition or projects that you developed, directed or completed
  • Maintain a regular schedule to check that your information is still relevant
  • Keep abreast of current developments and changes in your industry

Getting Feedback

Ask people in your network to take a look at your resume for their feedback. Pay close attention to their criticism and suggestions. The additional benefit is that you’re networking, which is always a good idea whether you are looking or not.

Your network includes your family, friends, colleagues, former coworkers, and former bosses. Now is always a good time to review your references. Keep in contact with people you have listed as references on your resume. Inform them if you are on the job market or if you are considering a career change and confirm that they will still be a reference for you.

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