Is Your Executive Resume Up to Date? September is Update Your Resume Month

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This is the 14th year for “International Update Your Resume Month,” launched by Career Directors International in 2001 to support job seekers worldwide.

Because you never know when you’ll need an updated resume “yesterday,” this serves as an annual reminder for professionals and executives to review their executive resume, LinkedIn profile, and other career documents.

Why Do I Need to Update My Resume? I’m Not Looking for a Job

You may ask why it is so important to keep your executive resume updated, when you are not contemplating a job change any time soon. You might think you don’t need to since:

  • You feel secure in your position

  • With a short tenure in your current role, you don’t think there is much to say yet

  • It’s just one entry, you’ll update when I have two or three to add

But this kind of thinking can put you in an awkward or panicked situation in a big hurry.


Situations Where You Need a Resume NOW Can Arise in a Flash

Job security doesn’t exist anymore, for anyone. You never know when your employer may go out of business, decide to do a major reorganization, merge with another company, or sell out. A new superior who you don’t get along with may come into the picture. You may be a victim of nepotism or ageism.

There can also be nice reasons why you need an updated resume, such as:

  • Documentation needed for an upcoming award or recognition

  • A sudden promotion opportunity

  • A media interview or industry conference appearance

--to name just a few. There are numerous other situations that may require an updated executive resume on short notice.

Be Ready to Provide an Up-to-Date Executive Resume Quickly

If you are asked for your resume, you want to be able to provide it quickly. It can take time to gather your accomplishments, and you don’t want to forget something if you are in a rush! You also want to make sure your executive resume remains coherent and has well branded messaging.

Here are a few things to ask yourself in updating your resume:

  • Is your work experience up to date? Need to add your current position? Now is also the time to review your accomplishments and make sure they are reflected in your resume.

  • Check your contact information. Make sure you’ve included your customized LinkedIn URL on your resume. Has your address or phone number changed? Email address?

  • Update your education, training and certifications. Have you taken any classes since you last updated your resume? Earned a degree? Pursued a certification? Attended a job-related seminar?

Most important is to make sure your executive resume and LinkedIn profile continue to make it clear who you are, what you’re good at, and what type of positions you might be interested in. You have less than one minute to capture the attention of your reader, so make it count.

The Muse has some useful thoughts on Pain-Free Ways to Keep Your Resume Updated.

A Few Caveats in Updating Your Resume

Be sure to:

  • Check for any redundant information

  • Remove information that has become irrelevant

  • Make sure any changes you make are consistent with the existing format, spacing, fonts, etc.

  • Take care to ensure the resume remains ATS friendly

  • Don’t forget to put ending dates on previous positions, and to change the entries to past tense

  • Update the summary or profile to reflect increases in responsibility, a shift in your career to a different job function, or a change in career goals

  • Remember to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date as well, and make sure it aligns well with your updated resume

More Information on Why You Should Always Have an Updated Resume

See my more detailed LinkedIn article on Why You Should Always Have an Updated Resume for new information that requires a resume update, considerations to remember when updating, benefits that may not have occurred to you of keeping your resume up to date, and ways you can make keeping your resume updated easier.

One last thought:

Perhaps the most compelling reason to keep your resume up to date is that MEMORIES FADE. Especially if you are not keeping a journal documenting your changing responsibilities and accomplishments, it may be very difficult to come up with them when needed.