resumeRecently, I updated my resume. Afterward, I uploaded the updated version to all of the job boards where it is posted. Don’t worry, my boss is not about to lose her most loveable employee. Every other month, I take inventory of my recent accomplishments, projects and/or new skills; and I add them to my resume. If I love my job, why would I do that?

Let’s look it at from my standpoint, as a recruiter. A study by the Ladders revealed that recruiters spend an average of 6.2 seconds on each resume we find. I’m a tad more generous by about 10 seconds. That being the case, we immediately look for work history and we contact candidates based on that information. We go by what appears to be updated information.

Even those who are not active job seekers should know that a resume is like a car. It needs a tune-up and these are the reasons:

The resume rules change. We always seem to be looking for new rules in the resume game. If there isn’t a new rule about something we need to stop doing because the practice makes us look “old” or outdated (such as including two spaces to start a new sentence) then there are employers who may have rules for how they want resumes formatted. 

You have been out of the job-seeking game for a while. If you’re one of those folks who has been fortunate enough to be consistently employed either with the same organization or with different organizations with no breaks between jobs, there is a good chance your resume is outdated by about five years. Being consistently employed is obviously great but updating your resume could be the key to being recruited for a sweeter opportunity. 

Something needs to be corrected. Yes, that misspelled word has been on your resume (which is posted on three job boards) for more than a year! Also, I may be that recruiter who has passed your resume up because I need candidates with advanced degrees and you haven’t included that M.B.A. that you worked so hard for on your resume. 

An updated resume helps you evaluate yourself. I always tell college students that they should either be proud of what they see on their resumes or they should be motivated to do more because of what they don’t see on their resumes. Think about where you want to be in your career, look at your resume, and ask yourself if that resume realistically serves as a tool to get you from point A to point B. 

You owe it to yourself to brag. One of the biggest mistakes people make on their resumes is they don’t brag enough. Recruiters can present you much more effectively to their clients if they know about your career accomplishments, advanced skills, and recognition. The more information we have, the better your chances of advancement. Besides, if you don’t brag about your value, who will? 

You never know. I hate hearing the story of the great employee who put years into his organization and one day got unexpectedly caught in downsizing, closure, or the elimination of a grant. These are the folks who get caught flat-footed, scramble to update years of information, and hastily put their resumes out there. When it comes to resumes, it is definitely true that haste makes waste. In the job market, preparing for the worst is never a bad thing.

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