Without an Updated Resume, You’re Not Ready for Your Next Career Opportunity

Without an Updated Resume, You're Not Ready for New Opportunities.Is your resume ready for that next unexpected opportunity? If a recruiter or prospective employer called with an interesting opening, would you be poised to seize the moment? If a friend forwarded a job posting to you that you immediately knew you had to throw your hat in the ring for, would your resume be ready? If you learned of a higher-level role soon to be available in your current workplace, would you be situated to pursue it in the best possible way?

You can answer “yes” to these questions ONLY if your resume is already in great shape and simply needs a minor update with your new address or email address. If it needs jobs, achievements, or credentials added, you’re not in the best position to take advantage of any emerging job leads.

In other words, the time to get a resume update is when you DON’T yet need one. If you wait until you do, you’re already behind the eight ball. Which brings me to International Update Your Resume Month, now in full swing. Consider this fair warning that it’s time to avoid that eight ball and prepare your career for that next great gig.

Look at this sample resume which I have annotated with update-your-resume tips. The key to updating your resume effectively is to compare your current content with your targeted opportunities so you know which elements of your background to stress and which key words to insert.

Resume Update Tips


  1. Alter your resume’s title to match the role you’re pursuing.
  2. Update your tagline(s) with your strongest WhyBuyROI.
  3. Refresh & upgrade the achievements you list in your summary.


4. Review any testimonials you’ve inserted previously to see if you need to update them.

5. Integrate more industry-specific key words in your summary.

6. Add new companies &/or positions. Include lean position descriptions that create a powerful context for your achievements.

7. Keep achievements brief but powerful with quantified details & an emphasis on your strategy impacts.

Resume Update Tips2

Resume Update Tips3

8. When you add recent roles, that may impact the lengths of your resume. You may also need to push older jobs off the document or down into an early career section.

9. Don’t forget to insert new educational credentials, certifications, licensure, professional development coursework, affiliations, or community leadership.

Updating your resume is not just about adding additional jobs and new contact information or credentials, it’s also about bolstering your brand, refreshing your career goal, and repositioning your self-marketing, all of which can be accomplished within 10-15 minutes if your resume is already written with best practices in mind. If your resume is not aligned with best practices, then your update is really a rebuild and significant rewriting will be necessary.

Top off your updated resume with a new layout that grabs your readers’ attention and you’re ready to leverage this critical career communications tool to showcase your brand and compete on equal or better footing for any opportunity for which you are qualified.

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About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.

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