If you’re like many people, your resume lives in a forgotten corner of your hard drive, and you only look at it when you’re ready to look for a job. While it makes sense to review your resume when you’re starting a job hunt, there are many reasons to brush up your resume on a regular basis, regardless of your employment status. Updating your resume should be something you do even if you aren’t actively job searching. Here’s why.
It’s Easier to Remember What You Did
Your career may take many twists and turns, even as you stay in the same position. You’re less likely to forget what you did if you’re continuously updating your experience on your resume. Make a point to open your resume on a regular basis, review your list of skills and work experience, and make changes or tweaks as necessary.
You May Be Accumulating Skills Outside Your Role
Maybe you fulfilled an interim need at your company after a coworker left for another job. Maybe you engaged in some cross-training in another department. Perhaps you worked on a project that was outside your normal scope of work. Put this information on your resume as soon as it happens. Once the project or training is over, you might forget to record key skills you learned in that new role. Capturing it on your resume soon after the fact is easier than capturing it long after you’ve completed your training or project.
You Never Know When You’ll Need It
Job opportunities come up all the time, and you never know when an opportunity will cross your path. Having your resume ready when the opportunity arises makes it easier to apply without dedicating a lot of time or energy to the application. This means you’ll be more likely to throw in your hat for those long-shot, tempting opportunities that come your way.
If you’re applying for a job because a friend referred you, you’ll also appear more collected and organized if you can produce your resume quickly and efficiently. The day after your friend facilitates an e-mail introduction between you and someone at their company, you respond with your fully updated resume. That’s a great first step to getting a new job.
Having an updated resume will help you feel prepared for new job opportunities whenever they arise.
About the Author: Kathryn Elwell grew up in the Midwest. She has experience in management and human resources, and has been writing on these topics and more for 12 years.