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Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, keeping your resume updated makes it easier to find another job if you decide to leave, are unexpectedly dismissed or encounter a job opportunity too good to pass up. To keep your resume current, tailor it to reflect both your current accomplishments and your long-term career goals.
Review Your Resume Periodically
Re-evaluate your resume every few months to ensure it reflects your skills and industry trends. Keep an ongoing file in which you note each time you master a new skill, win a high-profile client or complete an important project. Be as specific as possible. For example, if your department just received new sales figures, note that changes you made brought in 15 percent more clients than last quarter. In addition, consider which information you should delete. If you no longer use certain skills or if they’re no longer standard practice in your industry, remove them.
Study Your Performance Reviews
If your employer conducts regular performance reviews, these evaluations can help you identify your strengths. Note what your supervisor praises you for, whether it’s your superior communication skills, your knack for leading others or your ability to get things done quickly. Highlight these characteristics and accomplishments on your resume. Similarly, if your supervisor points out weaknesses or areas for improvement, edit your resume so that it doesn’t promise anything you can’t deliver.
Consider Your Career Goals
In addition to reflecting your current skill set and level of achievement, you must also position yourself for the kind of positions you’re seeking. Review job postings for the type of job you’d like to move into, and tailor your resume to showcase how your skills, experience and other qualifications match these requirements. Omit anything not directly related to the position, unless you can demonstrate how these characteristics can transfer to the new job.
Don’t work on your resume while at the office, and don’t discuss your job search with others. If your boss discovers you’re thinking of leaving, he might dismiss you rather than wait for your departure. He might also punish you for conducting your job search on company time. Also, don’t list your work phone number or email on your resume; use your personal contact information instead. If you need references, contact former colleagues or supervisors, ask professional connections within the industry or enlist co-workers you can trust to keep your plans under wraps.