QUESTION: I see September is Update Your Resume Month. Why should I bother? My current job is just fine.
You should update your resume because unforeseen circumstances can happen! I have worked with many clients who were laid off or fired from their job without any warning signs, due to COVID, staffing issues, etc. Having your resume updated in advance will alleviate lots of stress and allow you to start your job search immediately. My motto is “Stay ready so you never have to get ready!”
Do you change your furnace filter regularly or tidy up the kitchen even when it’s “just fine?” Even if you love your job, making a conscious effort to update your résumé is a good habit to get into. It is an opportunity to look back and add new accomplishments with quantitative metrics before you forget. You want to have a résumé at the ready in case another fantastic opportunity presents itself.
Being prepared with a current resume is paramount for career management. You never know when someone will mention a great opportunity or you notice a posting for your dream job! Even if you are happy with your current job, you shouldn’t depend on the company to remain viable or your position to always exist. Developing your resume when you aren’t under deadline will result in a stronger document.
Most people work because they need the money to pay for housing, transportation, and other family needs. Your resume is a critical item that helps you get new jobs. If you ever find yourself unemployed (layoff, fired, relocation, you quit) having an updated resume will let you begin the job search immediately. Also, you could be contacted by a recruiter and you can quickly send them your resume.
Great opportunities surface when you least expect them. September is a great time since hiring picks up following a slow-paced summer. Ideally, you should update your resume once a year to take stock of special projects, promotions, new skills, awards, and other achievements. This puts you in a better position to respond to new opportunities, even if you’re content in your current job.
It’s great to update your resume for two reasons: 1) You can capture your key achievements over the last year, while they’re still fresh! It’s amazing how quickly we forget…. 2) You’ll always be ready with an up-to-date resume if a new opportunity (internal or external) comes along. You never know when that might happen, and you don’t want to have to scramble to respond.
Updating your resume can help you realize your accomplishments and what you do day to day. That info could be useful at your annual review, when you request a raise, or decide to apply internally for another role. Furthermore, it’s always good to be prepared. Things change. Someday your job might not be fine or you may find a great external opportunity. Be ready.
There is no better time to update your resume than when you are happy in your job. Don’t wait until you “need” it. Keeping your resume updated allows you to be ready for any opportunity that comes your way and to actively explore whenever the urge strikes. Not having your resume current places you at risk for a longer runway if something happens and you find yourself forced into a job search.
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