Your resume is a work in progress; a fluid document that changes with the times. Or at least it should be. If your resume is a file lost in the abyss of your computer and one you rarely think to look at, you may want to take a new approach. Oftentimes people don’t think to update their resume until they’re actively looking for a job – or suddenly find themselves unemployed.

This is an already stressful time, and now you’re adding to it with the pressure of having to recount the last five, ten, or however many years it’s been since you last updated. Trying to rush through revising your resume because you’re in a pinch to apply for jobs can mean the final result is not as strong or engaging as it could be. And there’s a good chance that you’ve left off some important information.

Key Times to Update Your Resume

So when is a good time to update your resume? There is not a definitive answer that will fit everyone because each person’s life and career is varied. However, here are a few events that can be triggers for you to give your resume another glance:

  • The New Year. Make it a point to go over your resume every January and ensure you’ve highlighted key accomplishments from the past year.
  • When you finish a project. Take a few minutes to add new or challenging projects to your resume while it’s still fresh in your mind and you remember all of the specifics.
  • When you receive updated metrics. Did you just get your third quarter sales results? Make changes on your resume that indicate new goals, client load, or sales quotas you’ve achieved.
  • If you’re considering a side job. Maybe you want to start consulting or doing freelance work. An updated resume will come in handy to showcase your abilities.
  • You’ve completed a new degree, certification, or license. Education and professional development are essential parts of your resume. You put in the time and effort, so don’t forget to include new designations you hold.
  • Your current company is going through changes. You never know when you’ll be on the receiving end of a slew of layoffs. If you have an uneasy feeling about the business – or even if you’re confident in the stability of your position – it can still be a good idea to update just in case.
  • You want to join a board, speak at an event, or take on a leadership role. Your resume can be a quick and effective way to present your background and experience.

Updating your resume at least once a year is a great idea so you don’t forget anything important. Jobs and projects can start to blend together year after year, so write about them while they’re still fresh in your mind. You may also want to keep a master file where you simply brain dump whatever accomplishments, projects, and responsibilities you can think of. Then, when you need to update your resume for a specific purpose, you can pick and choose what to highlight.

Has it been years since you’ve touched your resume? Have no fear, Grammar Chic can ensure you have an updated, polished version of your resume that aligns with current trends and expectations. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or to get started.