The obvious answer for when to update your resume is when you’re looking for a new job. It makes sense that you would want to have the most current information available to present to employers. But it’s a good idea to have an up-to-date resume even when you’re not actively job searching because you never know when an amazing opportunity may come your way. If a friend or former colleague contacts you about a job opening, or you happen to stumble upon an opportunity that’s too good to pass up, you don’t want to waste precious time scrambling to add your most recent few jobs or even to find a copy of your resume at all.

A good rule of thumb is to update your resume at least once a year – but ideally every six months. Of course, if you receive a promotion or start a new job you’ll want to update, but here are a few other occasions where you’ll want to dust it off:

  • You learn a new skill.

Did you just finish a course on Google Analytics? Are you now a certified Scrum Master? Have you recently added calendar management to your responsibilities? Make sure this is reflected on your resume. You’ll want to tailor you resume for each job opening, so having a comprehensive list of competencies that is up-to-date with the latest trends can make it easier to quickly eliminate ones you don’t need and leave the ones you do.

  • You complete a major project.

Have you spent the last 18 months leading a technology integration? Did you help negotiate a busines acquisition? Did you finally close on a big contract you’ve been going after for weeks? Celebrate your achievement by adding it to your resume. If you wait too long or are trying to update your resume in a rush later on, you may forget to include it. This could end up being a significant oversight. In addition, putting it off could mean the details become hazy and you’re struggling to remember exactly how things unfolded.

  • You have access to new metrics.

This is especially true if you work in sales. You’re likely to get updated metrics and quotas every quarter. Maintain a running list of your performance so you can figure out your growth over time, average sales, and percent to goal. These numbers may fluctuate greatly, but by keeping your resume up-to-date, you can feel confident that you have the most current data.

  • You’re thinking about a job change.

Maybe you’ve been considering going after a new role or switching careers. Updating your resume can give you the boost of motivation, encouragement, and confidence you need to take that next step and actually put yourself out in the job market. Now that you’re able to see what you’ve done and what you bring to the table, you can test the waters by applying for jobs you’re a strong fit for.

Reviewing your resume every few months can help you keep pace with the latest trends and expectations while also ensuring that your resume doesn’t become too outdated with irrelevant information. If it’s been years since you’ve touched your resume, and it needs some serious help, turn to the professionals at Grammar Chic. We’ll help you create a polished, up-to-date document that is easy to edit and aligns with what employers are looking for. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or to learn more and schedule a consultation.