The Pain-Free Way to Keep Your Resume Updated and Ready for Anything

The logic behind updating your resume is a bit of a riddle. Unless you’re actively sending out applications, you’ll put off revising it until tomorrow. But all too often, great opportunities appear unexpectedly, and you’ll wish you’d edited it yesterday.

That’s because you might not be consciously looking for a new job, but then you see an amazing opening (with a fast-approaching application deadline). Or, you’re invited to join a panel or connect over email with a prestigious contact, and you need to attach your resume. And your heart sinks a bit as you realize you haven’t even opened it since you landed your last position over a year ago.

So, you set out to update it in a hurry, accepting that you’ll have no time to adjust how it’s organized, or even to send it to a friend for proofreading. The best you can do is try to see if there’s anything major you should add (like a new side gig or volunteer role), but otherwise you leave it pretty much as is. Sure, that’s not the worst thing in the world, but there’s a better way.

The trick is to spend a few minutes each month making sure your resume is up to date. I’m not suggesting you overhaul it every four weeks: Seriously, you’ll drive yourself crazy! Instead, I’m suggesting a line here or there and then reading it out loud. By making these three updates each month, you’ll be 100% prepared the next time some great opportunity comes along.

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