learn new work skills

The standard time to refresh your resume seems to be whenever you decide to start applying to a different company or are looking to take advantage of an internal hiring opportunity at your current workplace. Why bother any other time? If you’re happy with your current circumstances, it can seem like a waste of time to update your resume. But a lot can change in a year. As you gear up to make resolutions for 2018, you should also make time to review and update your resume. Here’s why it matters, even if you’re planning to stay with your company for a long time to come.

  • Things change. A line from one of my favorite songs, “Good Will Hunting By Myself,” says “milkshakes melt, people change.” While this song is speaking to the fact that people change so regularly it’s a normal part of life, it can be applied to your “brand” or career persona. A year is 365 days, 52 weeks of possibilities, opportunities, accomplishments, and change. To leave your resume unchanged and static is, at best, short sighted. Even if you’ve got no plans to submit your resume for consideration to a new position or a new company, taking an hour to update and polish your resume lets you really see what you’ve accomplished in 2017. I last updated my resume in March; in the time it took to write this paragraph, I was able to think of at least five things I’ve learned, new skills I’ve acquired that could be added to my resume.
  • And they change fast. It may be dated to phrase it this way, but it’s a digital world. Your social media pages and your LinkedIn profile are readily accessible to recruiters. And with the speed at which positions and job descriptions can change, it’s wise to be prepared. What if, tomorrow, your company posts a new open position and it’s the chance you’ve been waiting for to do what you’d really like? While you’re stressing over your resume and what you need to update, others who regularly update theirs have applied and maybe even already have an interview scheduled. Save your future self from stress and update your resume regularly. Be like a boy scout, always prepared!
  • New year, new trends. Just like the world of high fashion, there are trends in business and hiring practices. One year will emphasize tech skills over soft skills. This year (and for the last few, to be honest) soft skills are all the rage. Updating your resume to reflect those trends and skills can save time and effort later on. You don’t want to lie or exaggerate the skills you have but highlighting a particular skill set that you may have previously neglected to breathe new life into your resume.

If you’re anything like me, refreshing your resume is stressful. I always feel nervous and overthink absolutely everything I’m including, even down to my address. But it’s worth an hour of stress to know that, at the end, my resume is ready to go. It’s also nice to review what’s happened in the last year. Do you need to update your resume for 2018? Maybe not, but you should. Ring in 2018 with a fresh resume and reflect on the things you accomplished in the last 365 days.