Strategies for Keeping Your Resume Up-To-Date

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  • 0:03 Ready at a Moment's Notice
  • 0:58 Keeping Your Resume Updated
  • 2:38 Strategies for…
  • 4:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Whether you're job hunting or happy with your current employment situation, keeping an updated resume is good practice. In this lesson, you'll learn more about reasons and strategies for keeping your resume in tip-top shape.

Ready at a Moment's Notice

Tara likes her job. In fact, she has logged more than 10 years now with the same employer. Then, the unexpected happens. Management calls all the employees together on a Friday for an impromptu meeting and announces the company is closing its doors.

Tara is saddened - and then she panics. She hasn't had to job hunt for a decade! Her interviewing skills are rusty, and her resume hasn't been updated in ages (if she can even find it). What was the name of that last certification she earned? How many new skills has she acquired? When did she finish that advisory program?

For most people, updating a resume is something that's only thought about reactively, rather than proactively. You're thrown back into the job market, and the scramble to update your professional profile kicks into high gear. But, there's a different way to approach things: always keep your resume updated. Find out about some of the reasons why maintaining a fresh resume is vital.

Keeping Your Resume Updated

When was the last time you thought about your resume? Last week? Last year? Ten years ago (like Tara)? Keeping your resume updated may seem like an unnecessary chore, but it can yield big dividends.

Why? Here are a few reasons:

  1. It's a confidence shot-in-the-arm. In the day-to-day trudge of going to work, the progress you've made as a professional has probably gotten lost. Regularly adding new skills, certifications, and other benchmarks can help you see how competent and capable you are. This can be especially helpful if you're launching a new job search.

  2. It'll help you be prepared...just in case. Like Tara's situation, you don't know what tomorrow might bring. In the event the worst-case scenario happens and you find yourself unemployed, having a fresh resume will help you be prepared and hit the ground running immediately.

  3. It keeps you ready to showcase your expertise. You might be the type of person who enjoys speaking at industry events or writing for trade publications. Or, someone may decide to nominate you for a professional accolade. Being able to forward your resume right away in these scenarios means that you might get that gig or award that accelerates your career.

  4. It can help plump your wallet. Need a little extra money for the holidays or a fancy vacation? There may be side work available that you'd be a perfect fit for, but without an updated resume, the opportunity may pass you by in favor of someone who could apply immediately.

  5. It may reveal hidden opportunities. Websites like LinkedIn and Indeed can be places to store a resume and make it searchable for recruiters looking to hire someone with exactly your qualifications. You never know when a perfect opportunity may be hiding in plain sight.

Strategies for Updating Your Resume

So, where do you start? Let's look at some strategies for updating your resume that will assist you with the process without making it a cumbersome task.

1. Draw attention to your professional goals. Most resumes contain one or two lines about what it is the job seeker is looking for, like ''working in the education field'' or ''using my storytelling ability in the non-profit sector.'' You can change this as often as you like. If you have multiple skillsets and career interests, it's a good idea is to store different versions of your resume, highlighting special talents. For example, if you have experience as a writer and marketing professional, you could create two different resumes highlighting specific duties that apply to each field.

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