Many professionals only think to update their resumes when they’re on the job hunt. Resume writing can be tedious, and, after all, if you’re completely satisfied with your current role and have no intention of leaving any time soon, why should you spend the time to rewrite your resume?
Here are just a few important reasons why you should always be updating your resume, and why it can affect the way your future career develops.
Understand Your Career and Objectives Better
Most job seekers know that a resume acts as a career summary; only the most important parts of your skills and experience make it on to the page. With such a small amount of space to outline such a complex part of your life, it forces to you to really dig deep into what is most important to you.
Updating your resume regularly can help you refocus on what your career goals and expectations are. When you’re at one job for a few years, you can become comfortable and forget what areas of professional growth were important to you as a job seeker. Updating your resume regularly can expose the gaps in your skills and experience and reinvigorate your desire for self-improvement in your career.
Remember Major Projects
A great tip is to update your resume is after you’ve completed each major project you’ve worked on. It can be easy to forget the details of projects when you’re a few years removed from them—you may not remember the skills you learned or the obstacles you overcame.
Writing it down when it’s fresh in your mind can provide focus and accuracy that otherwise would elude you if you wait too long.
Practice Makes Perfect
Writing resumes doesn’t come naturally to everyone. There is a special resume etiquette you need to follow to ensure that you’re optimizing your writing space effectively, and knowing which keywords to use and which skills to promote can be tricky for even the most seasoned job seeker.
Updating your resume regularly can help you become a better self-promoter. Knowing how to sell yourself effectively is a key aspect to a successful job hunt. Since your resume is the first thing to cross the desk of an employer, it becomes critically important for it to be as fine-tuned as possible.
Be Ready for a Promotion
Even if you don’t plan on leaving your current company any time soon, promotions do arise, and you’ll need to submit a great resume if you hope to be a candidate for the role. It will look much better to your employer if you have a professional-looking resume ready to go rather than providing an old version—or something you hastily put together the night before.
Keep up with Trends
Just like certain wardrobe choices, parts of a resume can come in and out of style. Terms and skills can become obsolete, job titles can be updated and improved, and even entire sections of a resume can be considered irrelevant when they were crucial just ten years ago.
As an example, you may have a “Personal Details” section on your resume that outlines your experience as “secretary,” explains how you’re a “go-getter,” and goes into detail about your experience with Microsoft Word.
In today’s job market, a “Personal Details” section has gone entirely out of style, and it would be better to describe yourself as an administrative assistant instead of a secretary. The phrase “go-getter” is a buzzword that most employers ignore, and Microsoft Word has become an expected skill, so it’s better to use that space to outline a more relevant skillset.
In summary, updating your resume can help you stay on top of trends and stay focused on what’s important.