By Catherine Lang-Cline
When you lose your job, or choose to find another job, it is the natural first step to update your resume. But waiting to update it after 3, 5, or 10 or more years can work against you. Here are 3 great reasons to always be updating your resume.
It is difficult to remember all of your accomplishments. Unless you are taking notes as you go, I am sure that you have achieved a lot more then you can remember on your job. It is much more difficult to write a resume when you are scrambling for information. Think about any problem-solving you have done. Have there been opportunities where you trained the new hire? Everyday accomplishments can add up to something impressive, like a skill that can be applied to a future position. Keep track of everything and then when you need it, customize your resume to the job that you want just by keeping all the skills and training that you added that apply to this new role.
You can shape your future. Unless you plan on staying in your current role for the entire length of your career, use your written resume as a guide to what you have accomplished and what you would like to accomplish. If you know that role you want in the future, what is your resume missing? Look at it from the point of view of a hiring manager. Look for any experience you might need to gain. Higher-level roles might require leadership experience, project management, specific software skills, etc. What do you need to add to get that dream job of tomorrow? Make a list, then make it happen!
You will need a resume or bio for board work and mentoring. Maybe you are the person that could never imagine leaving the company that you work for. With all of the experience that you have accumulated, you can think about giving back to the community or the people in your field of work. With an updated resume or bio, you can apply for board positions in areas that need your expertise or share interests with you. Typically, when board roles are filled, they will want to see your skills and accomplishments, basically, what would make you a great board member. You can also take all of your experience and share it as a mentor. You probably don’t realize that you know so much and that people with less experience could find what you know as valuable. A mentee might ask to see your resume or bio to see if you would be a good fit for them. Give back in either way can be a greatly rewarding experience.
So why wait to update that resume? There is no better place to invest your time. And when you are ready to share it, make sure that it is kept simple and is easy to navigate because that way all of your great information will be easy to find. Most importantly, the information in your resume or bio tells the story of you and you are changing and learning more every day, so let’s get credit for that.