How often do you update your resume? Only when you’re looking for a new job? If you’ve been working for a while and your resume has sat dormant, that strategy could be holding you back. Resumes should be considered a living document that you update while you’re working so the information on your accomplishments is fresh in your mind. And now, in 2020 during a global pandemic and economic downturn, it’s more important than ever to keep your resume updated regularly. Here’s why.
Position Yourself as an Expert
Your resume is the very first impression a hiring manager will have. Make sure you make it a good one from the start. If your resume is boilerplate and doesn’t communicate what sets you apart from your competition, you may be set aside. Showcase your expertise right at the top of the page and alter it to match the company message every time.
Avoid Selling Yourself Short
When you wait to update your resume, you rely a lot on your memory. That accomplishment you were so proud of 6 years ago? What were the details? What can you say about it that will demonstrate how important it was? If you write it when it happens, it’ll have a much bigger impact on the reader.
Be Ready for Your Dream Job
You also never know when that dream opportunity will appear. It could happen when you’re unemployed or when you’re working. If you haven’t updated your resume, you may not be ready in time to apply for the job and get your shot. And you never want to throw away your shot.
Ask for That Promotion
The same is true with your current employer. They may hire from within, but sometimes it’s not the direct supervisor you need to impress. While they may put in a good word, you will still have to apply and interview just like an outside candidate. If you have to scramble to update your resume, you may not make that great impression.
Cover Your Bases if the Unthinkable Happens
Of course, there may be a case where you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed. That has been true forever, but in a volatile economy like 2020 and beyond, it’s even more of a concern. But you want to be ready. So treat your resume as a living document that you only have to make slight updates to before it’s ready to be seen by decision–makers.