Most Professionals Aren’t Updating Their Resume Often Enough — Here’s How Frequently You Should Make Changes

young woman studying in her living room,sitting on the carpet.
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Career experts and common sense dictate that you should be updating your resume every six to 12 months so you’re ready for unexpected changes in your employment status. But reality paints a different picture. Many workers don’t look at their resume until they absolutely need to.

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A recent study reveals that 8% of American workers cannot remember the last time they updated their resumes. Only 37% of respondents updated their CV in the past half-year or year.

Recruit Rockstars CEO Jeff Hyman suggests refreshing your resume every quarter, or three months, whether you are actively looking for a job or not. Additionally, professionals shouldn’t wait for a job search to update their resume, but should instead capture important events on their resumes as they are happening (or shortly afterwards).

Talking to CNBC, Hyman stated, “When a recruiter calls, or your dream company has an opening, that’s not the time to be scrambling to edit your resume.” As notes, you have the best chance of being considered for a job when you apply within 24 hours of it having been posted.

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Routinely updating your resume, even when there are no important changes to your past or present positions, and refreshing it to highlight your most important skills and abilities is wise regardless of the circumstances.

Adding a Job Loss or Layoff to Your Resume

All resume experts agree that certain events — like getting a promotion, completing a major project, obtaining a certification (or degree) or mastering a new skill — should be reflected on your resume immediately. But Resumeble states that getting fired is meaningful information to add to your resume despite the sting losing your job may have caused.

Your resume should show a true picture of your employment career. As such, it has to show your accomplishments and failures. Getting laid off or fired should be exhibited on your resume, particularly if it is a recent event.

Resumeble notes that employers can be more sympathetic to workers who have been laid off, so citing that in your cover letter is a smart and honest move.

Hyman says that updating your reference list shouldn’t be overlooked either. Reference contacts change over time and you may change who you rely upon to give you a great reference. Having this information handy at the bottom of your resume will save you from “frantically searching for that information” when a supervisor or hiring recruiter requests it, Hyman states.

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Aside from networking, your resume is the single most important tool you have as a job seeker to advance your brand and impress prospective employers. You owe it to yourself to present yourself in the best possible light with a professional, revamped resume.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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