It is inevitable that your experience, skills, and achievements will change and increase. That is just a part of working and progressing in your career. With career progression comes the need to update your resume to reflect your career highlights and history. Since most people don’t really think about updating their resume until they are looking for a new job, job seekers today need to make sure that resume updates are made only after careful thought and time have been put forth. Quick updates could mean making critical errors, and we all know that errors on a resume don’t lead to an interview-errors lead to the trash pile. Here is some food for thought to ponder before you start making revisions to your resume:
- If you are rushing to put something onto your resume last minute, chances are it will not look as good as the rest of your resume. You will not take the time necessary to edit and make sure that the piece of information you have just put in matches the flow of the rest of your resume. If one part of your resume looks different from the rest of the document, employers may take this as a sign that you do not give attention to detail, or that you are disorganized.
- If you put something on last minute, more likely than not you will forget what it is that you have just put on. This means that in an interview, if you are asked about the addition, you may need to scramble to figure out what exactly it is and why you put it on your resume in the first place. That scrambling looks, to your interviewer, like you don’t know what they are talking about (which could make it seem like you never did it in the first place), and it will make you look inadequate and incompetent. Not a good first impression!
- Quick fixes lead to quick errors. Job seekers are more likely to have spelling, spacing and grammar errors when making quick edits. Read your changes over several times and ensure you don’t have typos. Better yet-try a second set of eyes. Ask a friend or colleague to review your changes just to be sure you didn’t miss anything. If you have errors on your resume, the employer will expect that you will make errors in your daily work, and may not see you as a strong candidate for the position, regardless of your skills and expertise.
All in all, it is just better to add additions right when they happen. Make your resume a living document. Receive an award? Add it to your resume. Complete a professional development class? Add it to your resume. Keeping your revisions current will give you time to know exactly what is on your resume and why you included certain information. Doing so will save you from bumbling and looking unprofessional in an interview, as well as will make your resume look more impressive overall.