Annual Career Check-up: Update Your Resume

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Forty-four percent of people update their resume less than once a year and nearly one-in-five haven’t updated their resume in over two years. Whether currently in an active job search or satisfied with one’s current career, Right Management recommends always keeping your resume updated. Right Management is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in employment services. Right Management surveyed over 1,330 people via an online poll on LinkedIn® and asked “How often do you update your resume?” The results were as follows:
  • 19% – It’s been more than two years
  • 25% – Maybe once a year
  • 18% – Every six months
  • 28% – Each time I achieve a new goal
  • 7% – Once a month
“The end of the year and start of another is the perfect time for a ‘career check-up’ to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your own career,” said George Herrmann, Group Executive Vice President for the Americas at Right Management. “You never know when the perfect new opportunity might come along. Don’t wait until you need it. Keep your resume updated so you have your most important marketing tool at the ready.” Among the study’s other interesting findings:
  • Employees at large companies are more likely to regularly update their resume. Fifty-seven percent of employees said they update it as soon as a new goal is achieved, compared to only 35% at mid-sized firms.
  • Professionals in Consulting and Sales roles are the most diligent at updating their resume as soon as a new goal is achieved, with at least 40% citing that they did so. Finance and IT professionals were the least proactive updating their resumes.
  • Forty-eight percent of employees in the 18-24 age range said they update their resume when a new goal is achieved, while employees in the 35-54 age range were least likely to do so (24%).
  • Herrmann advises that your resume is meant to catch the eye of a hiring manager. “It’s important to address the issues that a potential new manager looks at the most carefully, such as relevant skills, functional experience and accomplishments. Use this tool as a way to convey your competitive advantage and the value you bring to a prospective employer. You will have a much better chance of success.”
Herrmann recommends three best practices for updating resumes:
  1. List accomplishments and proof of performance. Focus on success metrics that can be quantified or qualified whenever possible. Highlight skills and how you have used them to be successful in the past.
  2. Focus on most recent experience. This is your industry and functional experience garnered mainly from the last two years. Remove information that is no longer important to your career goals.
  3. Keep the format fresh. Use contemporary styles to ensure it appears current and relevant. Make sure you cover the basics with what should be included: name, contact information, objective statement, employment history, skills and experience, and educational achievements.
Right Management surveyed 1,332 professionals globally via an online poll conducted in partnership with LinkedIn®. The data was collected in November 2009. About Right Management Right Management (www.right.com) is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in employment services. Right Management helps clients win in the changing world of work by designing and executing workforce solutions that align talent strategy with business strategy. Our expertise spans Talent Assessment, Leader Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Employee Engagement, and Workforce Transition and Outplacement. With offices in over 50 countries, Right Management partners with companies of all sizes. More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies are currently working with us to help them grow talent, reduce costs and accelerate performance.

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