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Is it okay to update my résumé on a regular basis on job sites even when I am not looking for a job change?

My concern is that few days back I heard from my colleagues that updating your résumé on job sites may harm you as the HR dept keeps an eye on what you update, and they take it like you are going to quit your job soon.

Although I'm not looking for a job change this time, my appraisal meeting is due this month. Please advise me for future reference: could updating my online résumé affect my appraisal meeting?

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Sometimes, a job change may be forced upon you by factors beyond your control. So be prepare. –  tehnyit Sep 22 '12 at 20:29

6 Answers 6

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I think it is reasonable and a good idea to keep your resume up-do-date.
I would NOT do this at the office itself if possible.
I would try and do it outside of work or at lunch time, ideally not on the company equipment if possible.

There are pros and cons though:

Pros:

  • Keeps your information up-do-date so you don't forget items later
  • Reminds you of all the things you actually have in it
  • Has the latest information ready for unexpected opportunities
  • Eliminates the need for a home pc just for that.

Cons:

  • May trigger headhunters, e.g. if you update LinkedIn or maintan the resume there.
  • May add to the tendency to have a resume that's too long.

I doubt HR is looking at it for a current employer and wouldn't consider it a real factor. Same for your appraisal, it's extremely unlikely and in 30 years of working I've never heard of or seen it. Most managers have better things to do with their time than doing private investigations on your personal updates.

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It is a good idea to always have an updated résumé or CV available, one never knows when one may need to use it (for example if someone's job were made redundant this afternoon, by having their updated CV immediately available they can start job-hunting without delay).

By establishing a pattern of regularly updating one's CV over time, regardless of whether one is actively looking for a new job or not, it actually makes it harder to spot when someone is looking. I'll explain. Take 2 people. Person A keeps their CV regularly updated, adding projects they've done or new positions they achieve as they go. Person B does not update their CV until one day they suddenly update their entire CV in one go. It becomes obvious that person B is looking for a job when they update theirs, whereas nobody can easily tell when person A starts to look.

Even when one is not looking, having one's CV up to date is helpful in their current job - it helps to give a good overview of where they are, what they've achieved, and can be a useful document during an appraisal.

Then there is the question of whether HR will even know it's your CV. Most online agencies are heavily anonymised (so as to avoid headhunters grabbing candidates without going through the agency!) so HR are unlikely to know (unless you are uniquely identifiable by your role). If it is LinkedIn, then there is the argument that many people keep their profile updated on there, and it can even reflect well upon your employer as it shows achievements.

In short - it is a good idea to keep one's résumé or CV updated, and it is unlikely HR will spot it; even if they do, you can argue that it is beneficial because it helps to remind you of all you have achieved so that you can discuss it in their appraisal!

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This is a very good point to remember for future reference +1 :) –  swapnesh Sep 21 '12 at 12:06

It depends on the site, and you should be subtle.

On LinkedIn, if your profile is public, everyone you know will see the changes. Generally someone putting 17 new skills, or rewording all their experience, is signaling that they're on the market. The right way to do it is to set changes to private, and make the switches.

Other sites may not have this option.

The caveat on "What if HR is actively looking?" At that point you should find a new place to work. Today LinkedIn, tomorrow Facebook... Once you have the job, you shouldn't need to be THAT paranoid if you're already being subtle. Besides, HR isn't as important as your immediate boss.

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Interesting point about making your profile private. Typically, I have found that many of my current colleagues are connected via LinkedIn anyway. So marking private would not hide much. –  tehnyit Sep 22 '12 at 20:28

There is lot of healthy discussion about why update your resume, so I will only talk about why you should update your resume to benefit your current job.

It is not a bad idea to keep updating resume even if you are working at a good position and you are not looking for a job change.

Updated resume reflects the skills you have gained by working at the current position, So even if the management of current company have an eye on your updated resume online, they will get aware of your skills and who knows you might get a good higher position at your current job.

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Every company I have worked for in the past 20 years has required us to update our resumes every year. Usually around the time of the annual review. They use them to respond to requests for proposals. They use them to justify to customers higher rates. Some have used it for internal job searches, when staffing a new contract.

Because they insist you keep the internal resume current, though they do decide on the format of the internal resume, it makes sense that you take the time to update your personal version.

Using sites such as LinkedIn to store your "resume" is also a resolvable action, because many employers encourage their employees to make business connections via LinkedIn.

Just don't check the "looking for a job" box, or HR might get concerned.

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No, but it may be helpful to keep it up to date on a regular basis.

Something to consider is how publicly available is your resume on these sites? Most sites will have privacy settings that should allow you to hide your resume, in which case HR and your boss shouldn't easily find your resume.

Be aware of how public you are with your resume on various places. LinkedIn may be a bit different as it is more for general networking and keeping it up to date may be useful, though again beware of what you are telling the world. Are you saying, "Please tell me where a decent job is!" or are you merely open to exploring opportunities? There is something to be said for the tone used and how connected are the people you are communicating about this.

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thx for the privacy setting info :) –  swapnesh Sep 21 '12 at 8:30

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