Whether you’re new to the workforce or a couple of decades deep, a strong resume is the defining action between getting hired at your dream job or getting passed over. As your skills and responsibilities change at work, it’s crucial to update that resume to stay relevant.
But how often do you need to update your resume? It’s best to revisit your resume every six to 12 months. You should also make a point of updating your resume whenever you:
- Get a promotion.
- Complete a major project.
- Obtain a certification or degree.
- Master a new skill.
But don’t just bust out your resume, throw in an extra bullet point, and call it a day. Rather, if you’re going to rework your resume, take the time to really make it shine.
Perfecting your updated resume.
The stronger your resume, the greater your chances of getting in the door the next time you apply for a job. Remember, recruiters and potential employers instinctually do a brief scan searching for keywords. As a general rule, it’s smart to put your most impressive qualities and responsibilities toward the top of each section so that recruiters and hiring managers are more likely to spot them.
At the same time, don’t feel compelled to list every single task or skill you possess. If you currently spend 5% of your time typing up progress reports and the rest of your time analyzing data and overseeing marketing campaigns, there’s really no need to include that tidbit on your resume.
Once you’ve reviewed your resume for content, make sure it’s grammatically correct. Comb through that document line by line to check for errors, and don’t rely on your computer’s spell-checking software to spot mistakes. If grammar really isn’t your thing, we encourage you to hire a professional resume writer.
Let’s talk about applicant tracking systems.
ATS is software that manages the recruiting and hiring process, including job postings and job applications. It organizes and makes searchable information about job seekers using keywords and/or the use of AI-type algorithms. That’s a deep analysis of your resume. If you are not personally in-the-know on how to ready your resume to tactically navigate ATS processes then, please, for the love of your own future, hire a professional.
Finally, make certain your resume is stylistically consistent.
Having a visually consistent resume sends the message that you’re detail-oriented, which is a universal skill employers are looking for.
While there’s no need to go crazy updating your resume every day, or even every month, it pays to dust off that document and review it one or two times a year to ensure that it’s up-to-date. You never know when a job opportunity might open up, or a sudden company layoff begins. The more up to date your resume is, the easier it’ll be for you to jump on it and keep your success train rolling in the right direction.