5 Reasons to Update Your Resume for the New Year

two-woman-chatting-1311518

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

New year, new you? Don’t worry if you don’t have vast life-altering plans for 2020. It’s just another year, after all, and you’re allowed to be the same you.

Amidst resolutions about quitting a bad habit, starting a good habit, or “getting organized” (whatever that means), some of us out there are looking for a new job this year. Maybe it’s for a boost in income, maybe it’s to get out of a job that has a poor life balance and leaves you stressed and exhausted, or maybe you’re not actually looking for a new job at all.

This post will explore 5 reasons you should dust off the ol’ resume for the new year, even if you’re not job searching.

1. To Put Some Pep in Your Professional Step: Just looking over your accomplishments since the last time you updated your resume can put some serious coin in your professional confidence bank. Plus, updating frequently (once or twice a year, at least) means you can spruce up your resume while the details of your latest projects are still fresh in your mind. While you’re updating, you should also jot down some notes and highlights about your projects that don’t make it to the resume — these can be used for cover letter material.

2. To Make A Case: If you redo your resume and find that you’ve significantly stepped up your responsibilities and project management skills, it’s a good time to think about negotiating a pay raise. Taking an objective look at your accomplishments over the past year (or more) can help you outline your conversation with your boss.

3. Because Shit Happens: If you lose your job, it’s far better to have your resume already up to date than to have to think positively about the job you just lost while you try to fix it up.

4. To Stay On Trend: Resume trends change over time, and you may end up taking yours a completely new direction! Research the latest resume tips like scrapping the objective section for a summary or profile, leaving the references off, and highlighting skills in a separate section.

5. To Invite Opportunity: You never know when you might have an opportunity fall into your lap through a new connection in your professional circle or a recruiter on LinkedIn. If your resume is already up to date, you won’t need to scramble to get one put together, which risks leaving out important details.

Careers and cookies

I wrote before about quitting, and how it can be a freeing and incredible experience.  It’s very tempting to leave behind the daily grind and step outside the box, whether that box is a job, a relationship, a location, a booked calendar, or anything else.  It’s freeing to quit and do something that brings us more passion.

The reason this is relevant to me today is because I recently found myself on a call with a freelance client, for whom I write posts for several blogs and content for several websites.  And during this call, we talked about my ability to pick up some more hours of writing.  Because, according to the words that tumbled forth from my mouth, “I’d like to be writing full time.”

OH WOULD I?

Yes.  Yes I would.

We talked about hours and about my timeline (I imagine I would be at my current full-time place of employment for at least another year, but who knows?) and about my goals.

I had a real conversation about a very real career change.

When I have conversations about writing, picking up more hours, getting increased responsibilities, or even brainstorming new things to write about, I feel charged with energy.  I love to write.  I never thought I would be a writer.  But I never thought I would be a purchaser for a chemical manufacturer, an administrative assistant for a real estate company, or a career counselor either, and I have done all of those things.

I try not to get too caught up in goals, but this doesn’t feel like a goal.  This feels like a need.  At the very least, this is a strong desire that I think will bring me joy and passion and satisfaction.

Some of the articles I write for this client are about work-at-home parents, and the more I research and write about the topic, the more interested I am in becoming one of these work-at-home parents. I have recently been thinking very hard about my parenting desires (though, admittedly, children are not on my immediate to-do list) and I have realized that, by the time I have children, I would like to have enough income from my freelance work that I don’t have to return to the workforce outside the home.

I’d also like to point your attention to the two fortunes wrapped into one cookie that I opened recently when I treated myself to Chinese food for dinner:

Seriously.