When my child began full-day kindergarten in 2012, I contemplated whether to go back into work full time, or explore robust work-at-home options. Either choice required a current resume, and at the time I hadn’t updated mine in nearly five years. I’d had a digital version handy since the late 1990s, which was the same one posted on my early 2000s-era LinkedIn profile – so I opened up the Word file to revise.

The first thing I noticed was how old the resume looked, in format and style. The font was Times New Roman, which I still prefer when writing on the computer over a sans serif font. But for the resume? Seriously dated. When was the last time I gave the whole thing an overhaul?

I dug up some old paper files. To my surprise and horror, the structure and typeface of the most recent resume was identical to the version put together when I graduated college.

Yikes. I needed a consult … with a resume doctor.

A friend put me in touch with just such an individual, a writer and public relations professional who helped revamp resumes as a side gig. Best money I ever spent. The resulting copy was far easier to read – less cluttered, with more actionable descriptions (i.e. showing instead of telling), set in a modern sans serif type. The document format and text were also more flexible, and I made further revisions in the years since without needing a resume specialist.

In the waning months of 2019 resumes are once again top-of-mind, as I apply to permanent part-time and full-time positions for the first time in a long while. With just a few tweaks, my resume was ready to go for my current job search.

My point: the time to update your resume is now. There are individual contractors and resume writing services who can help with the task for a fee. If cost is an issue, check out one of the online, interactive resume building sites. Your local library will also have free resources, including books and workshops. To get started, check out these two articles that list a number of online options (as with any online service, do your due diligence before contracting with any person or service):

Circumstances can and do change suddenly, whether you are working as a freelancer or small business owner … in a large company or a small nonprofit … or even if you are in a position you love. Layoffs might occur. That dream job may unexpectedly present itself! An updated, ready-to-use resume is necessary for any of these eventualities.

The day you need a resume may be today. Is yours ready to rock and roll?