If you’re not applying for a job, it’s easy to let your resume collect dust. After all, why bother updating your resume if you’re not actively searching for a new opportunity?
This is the wrong approach to take, says Erin Greenawald, Editor of The Daily Muse. There are plenty of non-job search related opportunities that arise that require you to have an updated resume. Here are a few that stood out to us:
In Case You Want to Pick Up Some Side Work
Even if you’re not looking for a new full-time job, you may decide you want to pick up some freelance work or collaborate with someone on a side project. And if a great opportunity lands in front of you, you’ll be happier and more confident if you aren’t scrambling to get your resume up to snuff.
For example, I was passively considering picking up some freelance work recently when what seemed like the perfect opportunity presented itself. I wanted to get my name and expertise in the hiring manager’s inbox ASAP—when I realized that not only did I not have an updated resume, I didn’t even have a copy of one on my new computer. Rookie move.
Don’t find yourself in a pinch like me. Keep an updated file of your resume somewhere it’s easy to find, along with a document containing all the experience not on your one-pager (in case you need to tailor the experience you’re showing off for a specific position).
In Case You Have Secret Admirers
Just because you’re not looking for a new job doesn’t mean someone else isn’t looking for someone exactly like you. Recruiters or people looking to collaborate on projects are often actively keeping an eye out for the perfect fit. If they call you up asking for your resume—or come across your three-year-old LinkedIn profile—they’re unlikely to be impressed.
But if they see an up-to-date document or profile detailing all of the impressive things you’ve done recently? They might just extend you an offer that you’d have a hard time turning down (and, at the very least, it’ll be a nice confidence boost!).
At first, keeping your resume updated seems like something that wouldn’t take a ton of time. However, sometimes our resumes can be years old, we have forgotten what we’ve accomplished over that time, and therefore aren’t sure of what to include. Or, we have no idea of where our original resume is so we have to build it from scratch.
So, in addition to updating your resume, here are two tips to keep in mind:
- Keep track of your accomplishments at work: Documenting your successes over time will save you that last minute rush of trying to remember all of the good work you’ve done.
- Incorporate relevant accomplishments into your resume: That way you’re never wondering what to include when a new opportunity arises.
Do you keep your resume updated? Why or why not? Share your tips and insights in the comments below.