How long has it been since you read your own resume? A month? Three months? Since you got your current job? Unless you have revised your resume since the end of the summer, you have waited long enough.
Why revise your resume if you’re not looking for a new job? Here are some of our reasons for spending time tweaking your resume even if you are happy where you are working:
- Memory is tricky–Right now you have a great handle on the numbers for that big project you just completed. Those numbers will not stay at the front of your mind when you get immersed in the next one. Add bullet points with quantifiable data to your resume before the details get away from you.
- Resumes are not just for job search–If you want to take on a volunteer opportunity that uses your professional skills, join a professional organization or do some networking (which you should do often), a current resume is a quick summary of your experience for anyone who is interested.
- The longer you wait, the longer it takes–Someday you will need or want to have a great–and current–resume. If you keep it up to date every quarter, it won’t take you long to bring it right up to today, but if you have to work back two or three years, it will take many more hours to make it work.
- You never know–No one likes to think about it, but many layoffs are at short notice. I have a friend who found out on a recent Friday that it was her last day of work. If your resume is always current, you have one less thing to worry about if an unanticipated period of unemployment comes along.
My career coach told us to spend 5 hours on our resumes every quarter and at the time it sounded like a lot. But I know that it will be much harder to remember my accomplishments of this year when next year has begun. Think about spending an hour or two this week on your resume–you’ll be glad you did!
Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative