There are the five prime times when you should update your resume, and not a single one of them happen to be when you need an updated resume for a job application.
1 | After Starting A New Job
You want to wait 3-6 months after starting a new job to update your resume. This gives you time to fully understand your role and typical tasks. This will also give you time to contribute toward organizational goals which will help you keep your resume top-heavy with achievements.
Related Article: How To Add More Achievements To Your Resume
2 | When You’ve Completed A Major Project
You should also update your resume when you’ve completed a major project at work or received recognition (formally or informally) for your work. Keeping track of your contributions toward organizational goals will be easier if you add them to your resume as you go. It best to update your resume when these details are fresh on your mind.
3 | When You Finish A Certification Program
Update your resume when you finish a certification program or training event. These details can boost your resume by showing your dedication to professional development. You likely gained new relevant skills, too! Granted you’ll need to swap out less relevant skills with more relevant skills for each job application, but tracking new skills as you earn them can speed up the resume targeting process later.
Need help tracking your skills? This Skills Inventory (& Work History Examples Guide) will help!
4 | In December or January
You should always take the time to update your resume in December or January. You’re more likely in a reflective and goal setting mindset this time of year, so take advantage of it. An annual career audit will help you organize your thoughts when amending your job summaries or adding new achievements, skills, certifications, training, and so on.
5 | When Your Career Goals Change
Finally, update your resume when your career goals change. If you’re ready to transition into a management role, update your resume to focus more on your leadership skills and experience. Want to change careers altogether? Update your resume to showcase your transferable skills and experience.
When Not To Update Your Resume
Don’t wait until you’re asked for your resume or need a new job ASAP to update your resume. Procrastination will only cause unnecessary stress. If you update your resume at these five prime times, you’ll routinely update your resume 3+ times a year. You also won’t have to hesitate, reevaluate, and frantically edit your resume when a new opportunity presents itself.
Updating Your Resume Today
If you haven’t updated your resume in years, you’re not alone. You should be aware, though, that the modern job search has a few more challenges that you’ll need to consider before updating your resume. Applicant Tracking software (also known as ATS) and competitive job markets are just two of these challenges.
Luckily, the Do-it-yourself Resume will set you up for success and help you conquer the modern job search!
The Do-it-yourself Resume
You can create a job-winning resume quickly with the Do-It-Yourself Resume which includes a:
Applicant Tracking software-approved modern resume template,
Branding Statement Cheat Sheet,
Skills Inventory, and
Resume Targeting Checklist!
I challenge you to plan ahead and spend some time updating your resume before you have to.
Can you think of other times during the year when you should update your resume?