SURVEY SAYS – Is Your Resume Current?

August 5, 2009 ( - We're often counseled to keep our resumes "current," regardless of our current comfort/security with our current position (after all, you never know when an opportunity may come knocking).

This week I asked readers how long it had been since they updated their resume – and how long that resume was.  

Suffice it to say, for a plurality it had been awhile – and for most one-page was no longer enough.  

A full 36.5% said it had been more than two years since they updated their resume, while another 13% had “no earthly idea” how long it had been.  

On the other hand,

  • 18.3% had updated it in the last 30 days,
  • 6.1% had done so in the past three months, and
  • 7.8% had revised their resume sometime in 2009.   

The remaining 18% had done so in 2008.

Resume Length

As for the length of those resumes, just over half ( 54.8% ) said their was 2 pages long, while nearly a quarter ( 24.3% ) still had it fitting on a single page.   Roughly 6% said theirs was now 3 pages long – and the remaining 15% had no resume.

Among my favorites of this week's verbatims:

  • "Let's see...I've been at my current job for 9 years, so the last time I updated my resume' was ..... 9 years ago! "
  • "About 2 1/2 yrs ago, when I applied for my present job. Thanks for the reminder to update, seeing as this job is radically different from my previous one."
  • "10 years ago to be exact, just when I accepted my current position."
  • "I updated mine today!"
  • "It's on the to-do list -- it coincides with finding that dream job that'll take me out of the rat race!
  • "The biggest thing I have to remind myself of is to continually update my portfolio. It's pretty tough when you decide it's time to look for a new gig and you have to try to think of your "proudest projects". I ran into that problem earlier this year. It also helps if your wife doesn't accidentally throw away your old portfolio."
  • "But it's on my short list! "

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who noted, "I last updated it to work at my current employer. That was more than 10 years ago. I guess I'm very confident in my position or stupid."

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!

  • Not a good time to change jobs even for a great opportunity. Besides, age discrimination is rampant so why spend valuable work time interviewing?
  • I'm looking for a job that is closer to my home - 60 miles is a long commute each way.
  • Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation. With the abundance of rumors I am hearing I am prepared.
  • My company was acquired and I will be out of a job shortly.
  • I've been with the same company for the last fifteen years. When I accomplish something large, I up-date my resume. It's been awhile since any new challenges have come along, so there is no need to up-date.
  • Actually, not quite two years ago, and I hope never to update it again. Made a great move and am finally actually very happy at work... looking forward to retiring here and collecting a pension!
  • I get laid off from whatever company I'm working for every time there's a major recession. I'm hoping I can weather the storm this time.
  • No point to update 'cause there are no jobs out there.
  • As I am currently employed in a horrific labor market, I do not feel the need to freshen it for other opportunities. However, once the market improves it will definitely be freshened.
  • Not much has changed since last year.
  • Been here for over 4 years, so it was before that.
  • Watching the layoffs happen around me, figured it was time just in case. Have made a commitment to update the new resume at least once a year to keep my accomplishments fresh.
  • I got this job April 1 of last year. Now I have to continue to do things here that let me add to the resume
  • 1994
  • An outplacement person once told me that you should always have a current resume - you never know when you will need it!
  • Last time I updated was in 1996 when I applied for my current grade in the government. I took a look at the new form of government hiring in and decided no promotion was worth that hassle.
  • I just updated it last week.
  • Last time I updated it was 5 years ago, when I got laid off from my prior position and had to find a new job.
  • I was laid off last week due to downsizing, and my position being eliminated, so I updated my resume the week following the announcement.
  • I feel blessed that I don't need to.
  • This is the first time I've updated it in 25 years.
  • With this economy, it's only good sense to be ready for whatever might happen. Not only keep the resume' current, but continually review the job market (location, industry, etc.) which might be where the search needs to occur.
  • Unfortunately, I am one who has become too comfortable and have not updated my resume this decade.
  • While I haven't updated my resume since coming to my job two years ago, I have been keeping a log of all the projects I've worked on and all the hats I wear here. Does that count?
  • When I first graduated from college a Partner with a Big 6 accounting firm gave me one piece of advice - Always keep an updated resume handy because you never know when you might need it. This advice has worked for me on more than one occasion.
  • Previously, kept a copy on a disk in my briefcase and flash drive, just in case I needed it on the fly.
  • I started working for this company in 1974. Didn't have a resume then and don't have one now. Actually, it was 2 days ago.
  • I actually don't even know where I can find a copy. It was on a work computer that got swapped out for a new computer when we upgraded operating systems...
  • 1992 or was it 93,,I've always had the best job with this company.
  • What resume? I was hired for my last two jobs with no resume. Just an interview. And that's over the course of 17 years.
  • I haven't changed jobs in 10 years, so I checked it out at some point in 2009 and it seemed current.