6 Easy Updates You Should Make to Your Resume/CV ASAP
Whether or not you’re actively looking for a new job, it’s always prudent to regularly update, refresh and optimize your resume. Every six months to a year is the general rule, but should be even more frequently if you’ve had any changes or updates at work.
Why is it important to look at your resume even if you’re happy in your current position and not looking for a change? For one, you may forget to add key experiences or accomplishments long after the fact, so you want to update your resume while it’s fresh in your mind. And secondly, you never know when you’re going to be put back on the job market (either willingly if a great opportunity catches your eye, or unwillingly if your organization decides to or is forced to downsize).
Simply put, it’s just best practice to always have a current, polished version of your resume or CV ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Here are 6 quick updates you can make to your resume this week (and every few months from now on) that will ensure it’s ready for whatever comes your way:
1. Update the essentials. Be sure to add:
- quantitative, measurable accomplishments/wins you've had
- any new responsibilities or roles you’ve taken on
- conferences attended or new publications
- any professional organizations or affiliations you may have added
2. Make sure your resume aligns with and is supported by your LinkedIn profile
There should be no inconsistencies, incongruities, or gaps between your resume or CV and your LinkedIn profile that could raise any questions or red flags to a potential new employer.
3. Update your "skills" section with any new tools or technologies you’ve worked with
This section is easy to overlook as you spend most of your time updating your employment history, but having outdated technologies or skills on your job application materials indicates that you’re either not keeping up with current trends in your industry or too careless to update your resume.
4. Have someone you trust, like a mentor or friend outside of your organization, take a look at it
Everyone needs an editor. Everyone. After you make updates to the document, have someone you trust give it a good once-over to pinpoint any mistakes or gaps.
5. Do more with less
Even longer documents like a CV should be succinctly and clearly written. Have at least one proofreading session where you only focus on your writing style and wordiness. Instead of taking three or four lines to get across an idea, could you take only one or two? Getting to the point more quickly will make your resume easier to read and more effective.
6. Just give it a good once-over to make sure everything is still current, relevant, and error-free:
Any kind of a mistake (spelling, grammar, formatting, or inconsistencies) on your job application materials is the kiss of death when you’re on the job market, so you can never proofread your resume too many times. Take a few minutes after you’ve made all of your updates to make sure your document is error-free.