By Poyen Ramos on January 1, 2016
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 definitely looks like you're not going anywhere anytime soon, so I guess it's alright to put that 'ol resume away for a while, right?
Wrong. No matter where you are in your career right now—whether you fall into the above category, the opposite, or you're still unemployed—it's best to keep your resume up-to-date, as often as possible.
And even if "often" means updating every 2 or 3 months, it'll be a good thing to do. Here are four reasons why you should polish it today:
1. Because you have the time to do it
"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, but do take note. Recording completed projects or skills learnt on a regular basis allows you to remember your milestones so that when you do actually need to update your resume, you have all the information you need. This makes the process of updating the resume 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 realize out of the blue that you aren't in the right job anymore, or the company might be laying off people and you may be, unfortunately, one of the casualties.
2. To remind yourself how much you've grown — and how you need to grow
It's easy to forget how far you've come and which skills you've gained and developed when you're caught up with work. Did you learn how to use basic photoshop? Or perhaps mastered the art of organizing events? The exercise of updating your resume is a time that allows you to thoughtfully review your own progress as a professional. You might even find yourself going towards a very different career path when you do this.
So dig deep. Analyze where you thrived, as well as looking into where you may have fallen short. This information can help you tailor your own work towards your ultimate preferences.
3. You can clean up how it looks
One great thing about working on your resume now, besides reviewing 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. The job market is competitive and even the visual elements of a resume can affect how your application will be received.
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 career —your skills and achievements, your preferences, passions, and values. Every job and role you have ever had has been a reflection of who you are as a professional, and a suggestion of your future.
Reviewing and updating your resume gives you a chance to take a good look at your career so far 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 give it some time , 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 better or for worse.