Why to keep an updated resume even if you're not job hunting

Let me tell you a little secret: recruiters LOVE passive candidates.   What does that mean?

A passive candidate is an employee who is currently working and pretty satisfied with their current employer.  This person has good performance and a good rapport with their company.  This person is not actively looking for a job but would be open to a new opportunity.

Does this sound like you?

Recruiters work to woo these candidates usually because they have a specialized skill set that's in demand.  They're currently employed, which makes them marketable (versus someone who's recently been let go).  And if that person is you, but your resume is a mess, you could miss out on an opportunity for career growth or an increased salary.  You get a phone call or an email about a job, and it sounds perfect for you, but now you're scrambling to type up your most recent position and don't even have time to spell-check.  You forget to update your phone number or you mistakenly misrepresent yourself, all because you were in a rush.  And you send off your email with the long, inappropriate file name "John Doe Draft of Resume 2013."

DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!   Don't close the door on a new position before you even knew it existed - update your resume!  Keep track of your responsibilities, success milestones, and performance.  Jot down your recent skills and trainings.  Did you learn how to use Microsoft Access?  Have you started managing interns?  Did you receive a certification recently?  Or present a departmental update to the executive team?  The more you keep track of your progress, the easier it will be to convert to resume format.

You may think you'll be in this same job forever, but you never know what opportunities will come your way.  And if you're not prepared to embrace it, that perfect job (that you didn't even know you wanted) will pass you by.