It’s a question that everyone asks – how often should a resume be updated? Even if you’re currently employed, you want to make sure your resume is always up to date. You never know when a new job opportunity might come up, when you could be headhunted, or when the unexpected might happen. Just like you update your LinkedIn page, you want to make sure you’re updating your resume. It’s easy to forget about certificates and courses that you might have completed, so you want to have a regular audit of your resume throughout the year. We’re taking an in-depth look at resumes and how often you should update them.
When Should I Update My Resume?
You want to update your resume at least every six months if you’re currently employed. If you’re looking for a new job or are about to graduate, you want to update your resume as soon as you have anything new that might give you a competitive edge over another candidate.
You should update your resume whenever you have a career update, whether it’s reaching a new milestone or completing a course and receiving a certificate. If you’ve recently learned how to use new software, this should also be in your resume.
Refreshing your resume every six months helps you take out any information that might be out of date or no longer relevant. Once you’ve been employed for a few years, most employers won’t need to know what high school you went to. Stick to your more recent qualifications, making sure to highlight your bachelor’s degree or any equivalent education.
It’s worth remembering that your resume is the condensed version of your CV. Once you progress in your career, you can drop some of your earlier jobs from the resume section. You’ll still want to include them in your CV, but they can free up valuable space on your one-page resume.
What Jobs Should I Have on My Resume?
It’s not unusual for people to have several jobs on their resume, especially as you get further into your career. The golden rule is to usually remove jobs that you had over 10-15 years ago from your resume. These jobs can still feature on your CV, but they’re less likely to be directly relevant to the job that you’re applying for.
While volunteer positions can show your commitment to charities and other causes, they don’t need to be on your resume when you are further into your career. You can move these over to your CV to make space for other achievements and awards that you’ve received. After you’ve progressed through your first few jobs, you can also move any internships from your resume to the CV section.
What Should I Add to My Resume?
Deciding how often should a resume be updated largely depends on what information you have to update it with. You want to make sure you’re updating each section of your resume as needed. It can be easy to overlook one section in favor of the others.
A resume summary (sometimes known as an objective statement) is an overview of your current accomplishments and future goals. You want to make sure this is always up to date, as it’s usually the first thing that a recruiter will read. It should be an accurate reflection of where you are now in your career and where you want to be in the future. If you’ve progressed from being a teaching assistant to a full-time teacher after getting your license, you want to make sure your resume summary reflects this.
As you progress in your career, it’s easy to forget about your education section. You want to make sure that you’re also featuring any accredited licenses or certificates that you’ve earned. Make sure that you include your degree or any other formal education, but don’t overlook these other qualifications that can set you apart from the rest of the applicants. You want to ensure that these licenses and certificates feature on both your resume and CV.
Skills and Certificates
Your skills are one section of your resume that you should always be updating. Technology moves at a rapid pace, and you always want to be staying on top of it. Skills like using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint might have seemed impressive ten years ago, but they’ve now assumed skills.
You may also have become more advanced with a skill that you’ve previously listed as having an ‘intermediate level’ skill.
If you’re updating your resume for a specific job, look at the desired skills in the job advertisement. You want to pay attention to the keywords and phrases that they use when describing skills. You may already have that skill on your resume but have written it as something else.
You might be tempted to add every new accomplishment to your resume, but it’s best to only add ones that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. You can add anything else to your CV. Everything on your resume should be something that you can verify with a certificate or provide evidence of.
Hobbies and Interests
As we get older, our hobbies and interests change. These are an opportunity in your resume to showcase your personality and introduce yourself on a personal level to the recruiter. If your hobbies or interests are relevant to your career goals or industry, make sure to add them to your resume. You might also have a hobby – like graphic design or photography – that could be beneficial to the company.
When thinking about how often a resume should be updated, it’s important to remember that everyone is at different stages in their career. While the golden rule is twice a year, you’ll want to update your resume more frequently if you’re about to graduate or if you’re actively job hunting.
Taking the time to update your resume can ensure you don’t forget about anything and that you’re always ready to embrace new opportunities when they pop up. You never know when you’ll need your resume, so you always want to have an updated one on file.