The end of a year gives us a built-in reason to take stock and make plans for the coming year. We scrutinize habits, evaluate goals and explore intentions. Many of us resolve to be healthier: to eat better, exercise more, quit smoking. While health-related goals account for over half of all resolutions, be sure to also take some time to foster your professional health by dusting off your résumé.
The best time to update your résumé is before you need it. When an opportunity arises, time is of the essence. It is vital that you have a current résumé at your disposal. Many of us only update ours when searching for a job, leaving gaps of years to fill in. With an annual update, you’ll not only have a current résumé on standby, but it also will be of much higher quality. By making periodic changes and updates, your content stays more accurate and descriptions more vibrant.
How well do you remember what you did at work four years ago? Not nearly as well as what you did four months ago. If your résumé is missing accomplishments, you might be missing out on opportunities. Incremental updates make the task immensely more approachable. Who wants to spend a half—or even a whole—day overhauling a résumé? But an hour or two making a few changes? You can do that.
So what should you change? Pull up your résumé and evaluate these areas:
- Current content: Start at the most basic: Are your phone number and email correct? It’s best practice to use a non-company email on your résumé. Does it reflect your current position and duties? Do you have additional volunteer experience or skills to incorporate?
- Additional accomplishments: Have you received any promotions or recognition since you last updated your résumé?
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