I Read Resumes For a Living — Here Are 10 Times You Actually Need to Update Yours

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Joanne Rosen1.66k
Resume Writer Extraordinaire!
April 13, 2024 at 4:59PM UTC

Real estate digital site, Better.com, laid off thousands of employees in a matter of seconds. A few weeks later, there was a second round. Peloton and, more recently, Robindhood.com and Netflix found themselves with too many employees and people were suddenly flying without a net.

Your only safety net is to be prepared. 

Way back in the ’60s, my father worked construction. He could tell when a job was nearing completion and would stop at other sites on his way home from work to ask if they needed someone. He only collected uninsurance benefits once in his whole life. He was always prepared. However, we don’t always know when lightning will strike or our job will end.

If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that sometimes life throws you lemons and there is no sugar for lemonade. From being on cloud nine with the perfect job to not knowing where you’ll find the rent next week is scary. 

So, how often should you update your resume? Here are 10 times you should.

1. You just got a great new job.

2. You closed an incredible sales deal (or achieved something really big).

3. You got a promotion. 

4. Your spouse is up for a transfer.

5. You want to ask for a raise. 

6. You have a nagging feeling that change is in the air.

7. You work at a company that was just acquired or merged.

8. You are in a field that is going downhill.

9. You are ready to make that career switch you’ve always wanted.

10. No reason. Just do it.

There is a saying, “Luck favors the prepared.” If something suddenly happens and you need to look for work, having an incredible, updated resume will get you started immediately. You aren’t pulling out a copy that won’t even open on your computer, trying to reformat it and trying to remember how to form a sentence.

Or, you are sending out that old document, over and over, and getting nothing. You realize that you need a professional to help you stand out from the crowd but you don’t have the money to pay. 

Here are some tips to update your resume before you need it.

  • Research! Read some articles about current resume trends. 
  • Restart. Don’t simply add to that old resume. Start fresh.
  • Remove your street address, your hobbies, and your high school. 
  • Revisit past achievements from the last 10 years.
  • Remember that you are awesome and not just job duties.
  • Reformat. This is a business document. It doesn’t need graphics or art. It needs you!
  • Recognize where you are lacking and upgrade your skills now.
  • Reach out to a professional now, while you have the money.
  • Rest easy knowing that you’re prepared.

When opportunity knocks, whether it’s a layoff or a recruiter headhunting you, being able to offer an amazing resume is the key to being the early bird.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Joanne Rosen is the Chief Operating Officer for Analytic Advantage Career Consulting. She leverages her MA in Applied Communication, years of experience, and tons of research to help people get the jobs they deserve. For a FREE analysis of your current resume, upload it at www.analyticadvantagecc.com.

What’s your no. 1 piece of resume advice? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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