Everything seems to be going well at work—you've landed in an awesome company, you love your job, you enjoy your benefits and more importantly, you like the people you work with. It looks like you are not going anywhere anytime soon, and probably not thinking of updating your old resume too.
Wrong. No matter where you are in your career right now—whether you're like the one I mentioned above, or maybe don't have a job just yet—it's best to keep your resume up-to-date. Always.
Before you say it's unnecessary, updating your resume now actually has its benefits. So, if you haven't revisited it for some time, here are four reasons why you should begin polishing it today.
1. Because you still have time to build it up.
"The reality is that some careerists are so immersed in their roles that physically updating their resume in a meaningful, regular way is a huge challenge. I'd recommend, at the least, keeping a running log," answered Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, a certified master resume writer.
A running log means jotting down your job achievements and learnings regularly. It could be a weekly thing or a monthly thing. Recording completed projects or skills learnt on a weekly basis allows you to remember everything of importance so that when you do come to update your resume, you have all the information. This makes the process much less daunting.
Additionally, whether you're actively searching for a job or not, it's best to always prepare for the worst. One day, you might just decide to not love that job anymore, and need to submit resumes to companies. Thing is, you never know when you will need it so it's good to have it ready. If it takes you a week or two to get up to date, that's already a week or two of job hunting you've lost.
2. To remind yourself of your progress and achievements.
It's easy to forget how far you've come and which areas you've developed new skills in when you're caught up with work. That's why when you update your resume, you're able to track your own progress. Did you learn how to use basic photoshop? Or perhaps mastered the art of organizing events? Who knows, what you thought would be just a simple update could actually take you to a different career path after seeing your new set of skills.
So dig deep. Analyze where you thrived, as well as looking into where it hasn't. This information can help you tailor your own work towards your ultimate preferences.
3. You can still make it sparkle.
One great thing about working on your resume now, besides the excellent progress you've had over the past months or years, is having the time to look over and edit everything—the design, typos, spelling issues, and grammatical errors. Does it look outdated? If it is, it's time to give it a little (or a lot) of enhancing.
Keep up with the resume trends so that yours won't look outdated when the time comes to start submitting them again.
4. To streamline your career path.
One of the keys to happiness and career development is understanding yourself. You might not see it, but your resume is actually a blueprint of your life—your skills and achievements, your preferences, passions, and values. In every job and role you have ever had has been a reflection of who you are, and what you want to become.
Developing your resume gives you a chance to take a good look at your career and decide whether you're on the right track of your personal and professional goals. We know. Updating your resume is sometimes a daunting task, but when you slowly refurbish it to make you look and sound as awesome as possible, you'll soon find that the changes you've acquired over your professional life will help guide your career into a new direction.
It doesn't matter if you're actively searching for a job or not, if you still want to be in the game and up to speed when you plan on jumping in the job search pool again, it's good to always keep updating your resume for at least every 3-6 months.