Very often, your resume speaks for you and represents the first impression you make. It’s almost sad to admit, but it is true. Many recruiters and employers miss out on great candidates because they are too quick to jump to the conclusion that an unpolished resume reflects an unqualified candidate. For this reason, many great candidates also miss out on great job opportunities. With that thought, let’s take a look at the 5 reasons why you’ll need to update your resume before applying to a job.
1. To Show That You’ve Read The Job Description
For an employer, or recruiter, nothing is more annoying than reviewing the resume of someone who did not read the job description. With the internet providing the ease of access to many, many job postings, job seekers are taking a shortcut by creating generic responses and mass sending them to multiple prospective employers. You might be able to get away with this in some cases, but most employers and recruiters are able to pick out generic responses. They know when you neglected to read the job description!
By updating your resume, this gives you an opportunity to add something in your “Objective” or “Summary” that shows that you’ve read the job description and have taken the effort to modify your resume to reflect your candidacy. Of course, updating your cover letter would serve this purpose just as well.
You may also show that you’ve read the job description by mentioning in the body and subject of your email the job title you are applying for and how you qualify.
2. To Add New Relevant Keywords
There is no way your resume could tell the whole story of your career. No single job title can truly explain all your duties and responsibilities. So chances are, your current resume doesn’t fully endorse your candidacy for the position you are applying for. By updating your resume, you get to add new keywords that are relevant to what the recruiter is looking for, thus increasing your qualification. Obviously, I’m not suggesting that you lie about experience you don’t have. Instead, I’m saying you should “brag” about the relevant experience you’ve had.
3. To Add Relevant Experience and Eliminate Irrelevant Jobs
Let’s say you’ve had 15 years of experience working at different jobs in warehouse and office environments. Your current resume shows that you’ve had 8 years of experience working in an office and only 2 years of experience working in a warehouse. You are applying for a warehouse position which you feel you completely qualify for. What should you do about your resume? Before you send your resume to that prospective employer, make sure you update it to highlight the 7 years of experience you’ve had working in warehouses, and eliminate some of the office jobs you’ve listed. This new resume would show the recruiter that you are not only qualified for the open position, but you are also well rounded and have had success working in different fields.
4. For The Sake of Having a Current Resume
I’ve seen many resumes that only highlight work experience up to 2 years ago. They only make me wonder what exactly these people have been doing the last few years. Were they taking time off to travel? To care for their infants? To go to school? I’m sure they all have valid reasons but, I shouldn’t have to guess. Because, if I have to guess, then I’d second guess, then I’d delay calling the candidate to phone screen them, then I might forget to call them. My point is, every resume that gets into an employer’s hand should look like it was updated yesterday. Addresses, contact information, and dates should all be updated. If you’ve just moved to Dallas, TX and your resume still says that you live in Louisiana, you might have some trouble trying to find a job in Dallas.
5. To Practice Your Job Interview
And lastly, but not least, going through and updating your resume gives you a chance to revisit your work history, to refresh your memory. This way, when you go to that important interview, you’ll be prepared to answer all the questions asked about the jobs you’ve listed. And that is not a bad thing!