11 Situations When You Need to Update Your Resume
There are lots of tips and techniques on writing technical resumes that I will share in the future, but this article is about when to freshen up your resume. So many technology folks do not keep updated resumes. But your resume should not be gathering dust – and it just makes it harder after it’s been neglected for a while. The top reasons for beginning a job search is because you just lost a job, you want or need to leave a job, or a great opportunity has just opened up. The first two are stressful situations and neither are the ideal time to be updating your resume. As for the great opportunity — if it’s hot you don’t want it to have time to cool down. In none of these situations would you want to be on a desperate search for the latest version of your resume with a rushed and frantic attempt to get it updated. I guarantee you will not produce your best work in these circumstances.
So, here are a few milestones to use as a guideline on when to update your resume.
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- Promotion. If you have received a promotion it means you not only have a new title but also new responsibilities. Be sure to at least add the title and your basic new responsibilities to your resume fairly quickly. This is probably the least likely time that you will be looking for new opportunities, but it creates the header for your current role and if you add bullet points along the way, your resume will stay pretty current and fresh
- Demotion. I think this one goes without saying. It’s time to update your resume and now!
- Not Satisfied with your current situation. When you start conducting a casual search “just to see” what opportunities are out there, it’s time to update your resume.
- New Management. Whenever there is a change at the top, there is uncertainty in the air. It does not mean there is anything that is going to drive you out of your current position, but it is the time to evaluate if your resume is up to date.
- New Education, Training or Certifications. Even if you just simply add the certification or training on the resume and do nothing else, this is one less thing you have to do when you sit down to completely update your resume.
- New … new … new… new versions, new releases, new names are the norm in IT, change is constant. Keep your technology skill set up to date with the current language of the industry, but especially when you add a new skill.
- Technology shift within your organization. If the technology you are skilled and trained in is losing favor with your organization, either you need to update your skill or start preparing for the day that you will be looking for a new position. So update your resume when this technology shift is noticed and keep it up to date from then on out.
- Downsizing in other areas of the organization. It does not necessarily mean it will impact you or your department, but it is best to not be caught off guard.
- New Volunteer positions. Don’t forget to provide this valuable and often overlooked facet of your life. Many people don’t add this to their resume, but clients like to see that you are a well-rounded candidate that is not all about ME. So consider adding your volunteer / philanthropic experience as well.
- Contact information changes. If you have an address , phone, or email change, update that information on your resume.
- Annually. If none of the above events applied, it is just a good habit to update your resume annually. Maybe at the end of the year, when you are reflecting on the year that is slipping away and the new one about to unfold. At that point when we are already evaluating our lot, our progress, revisiting our goals… maybe this a good time to revisit your resume as well!
And don’t forget to update your social media outlets while you are at it! Yes, you will get contacted by recruiters… but, you never know when one of those recruiters will be the access point to some great new opportunity for you. So, make it easy for yourself AND recruiters by having your profile up to date and accurate. Don’t forget, even if you’re not interested – respond to the recruiter! It never hurts to expand your network!