What Recruiters Really Mean When They Ask for an Updated Resume

Requesting an updated resume is common, especially when applying for work through job boards. Check and update a few key sections to ensure your resume is up-to-date

a month ago   •   3 min read

By Resume Worded Editorial Team
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Recruiters and employers will often ask for an updated resume to be submitted alongside your application. But what exactly is an ‘updated resume,’ and what are employers expecting to see when they ask for a resume that’s up-to-date?

Here’s the quick answer: When an employer requests an updated resume they are simply requesting that the information you provide is still relevant to your current situation and the position they are hiring for.

They specifically want to know if your contact information, location, and job-seeking preferences are current and if your most recent employment is up-to-date. They also expect to see your most recent qualifications and experience, and that your resume is specifically tailored for the position you are applying for.

Why might a recruiter ask for an updated resume?

Recruiters are always interested in your most recent accomplishments and experience, but there are certain situations when they will likely ask for an updated resume.

A routine response

Recruiters sometimes send this request by default, especially if they are using a template to contact candidates, so don’t be put off if you see this request. See it as an opportunity to look over your resume and to check that everything is as up-to-date as possible.

Working with job boards

Recruiters often ask for an updated resume when they are contacting candidates through job boards. There are a variety of job boards online - Indeed, Linked In, and Monster, to name just a few - and many candidates upload multiple resumes to these sites and forget about them for months or even years. If your resume has not been updated in the last month, an employer will often request an updated resume to make sure they are viewing your most recent information.

Resume on file

An employer might also ask for an updated resume if you applied for the position a while ago and they have kept your resume on file, or you not actively applied for the position.

Missing information

An employer will also request an update if your resume does not include your most recent employment, or is missing important information, such as contact info or an email address.

Do I always need to include my current job?

Yes. Your resume should always include your current job. Even if your current job is not directly related to the position you are applying for, it helps a potential employer understand your current skills and experience. It is also useful for contacting references, determining notice periods, and understanding your current availability.

How updated does an updated resume need to be?

Your updated resume should include the job you have today. All previous work experience should only be included if it is directly relevant to the job you are applying for. You should update your resume regularly when you are actively applying for work, preferably every month. Important sections to update include:

Once you’re done updating the important sections of your resume as listed above, upload it to the tool below — it’ll perform a quick scan, identify mistakes and provide suggestions for improvement. It's a good litmus test to figure out if you’ve checked all the boxes from a hiring manager’s perspective.

What if my resume is already up-to-date?

If you have already sent your current resume and you receive a request for an updated resume, don’t worry. The recruiter is not implying your resume looks out of date or inaccurate. They are simply providing you with an opportunity to make any changes to your resume before they send it to a potential employer.

Now is a great time to check through your resume, make sure all your contact info is up-to-date, and check that you have tailored your resume to the job you are applying for.

Use our Targeted Resume tool to analyze the job description and identify any keywords or skills missing from your resume, and be sure to include all keywords and hard skills relevant to your industry. Quantify your experience using power phrases and action verbs to showcase your skills and catch the attention of an employer.
You can also use the tool below to get a list of hard skills and keywords relevant to the job you are applying for.

Even if you have no changes to make, send your resume to the recruiter again and state that it is your “current and up-to-date resume.” Sending another copy will provide a good first impression and will ensure the recruiter has access to your current resume, just in case they have sourced your resume from elsewhere and are working with an old copy.

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