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I now am looking for a new job. I have my resume posted on sites like dice, monster and so on. This resume contains all my details: contact info, technical skills, working history and education. It omits irrelevant information like gender, age, race, etc. Of course, my resume is current, describing my present job situation. I was really surprised to receive a lot of emails from recruiters, where they described positions that 100% match with me. These recruiters asked me to send an updated resume - but they didn't provide any details about what appeared out of date. What do they want to see in an updated resume?

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    If your resume is already up to date as-is, why don't you TELL them that it's already updated? – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 2 '15 at 23:15
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    I think you're over thinking it. The recruiter will usually have no way of telling if the resume is up to date, so they will just automatically ask to be safe. If it's current just say so, it won't be an issue. – The Wandering Dev Manager Jan 3 '15 at 0:53
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    Most people don't update their resume until they are looking for another job, so the only resume they have is the one from their previous job search. The recruiter wants one that includes your current position and experience. However, anyone who says that they have 100% match is wrong. The only job you're 100% matched with is the one you already have. Any job that doesn't require you to grow your skill set is one you'll be bored with quickly. Look for jobs where you're an 85% or 90% match. Those are the ones worth pursuing. – Wesley Long Jan 3 '15 at 18:49
  • I posted a full answer below but here is the shorthand answer: Pick a number from 1 to 18. If you guess the number correctly I have a mind blowingly great job for you! But be careful and choose the right number! Pick wrong and I will have to share this fantastic opportunity with someone else! ;) – Giacomo1968 Jan 3 '15 at 18:50
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    In my experience, 99% cases where a "middleman" recruiter asks for an updated resume, they are just "following a template". You see, there are the so-called "active" and "passive" job-seekers. The active job-seekers probably update their resume every week or more often, but once you land a job, you become "passive" and updating resume becomes less of a priority. The recruiter, of course, has to send maximum people through the door, and will try to contact both categories. They need an updated resume from "passive" job-seekers, and make their life simple by asking it of "active" job-seekers. – Masked Man Jan 4 '15 at 16:38
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There are a couple of possibilities that come to mind here:

  1. Time difference between posted resume and now - If you put your resume up a few months ago, there may be new details to update in your resume that could be worth adding that aren't in the resume you posted on-line way back when. Some recruiters may want to know if there is something more recent you could send them. There are times where I've had a posted resume that is more than a month old and so I could imagine someone wanting something more recent as reasonable.

  2. Resume customized for a specific position - Sometimes you could customize your resume for a position by being selective in the achievements of your experience since some may be more relevant than others. In this case, it is about a specific position that may be a great match if you know to update your resume for this specific position.

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    More likely just a generic statement they put out to all applicants – Josh Jan 10 at 21:19
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I was really surprised to receive a lot of emails from recruiters, where they described positions that 100% match with me.

You should be surprised. Because that never happens when someone who really has a position for you contacts you. Meaning, they are puffing up your ego. Why? Read on.

These recruiters asked me to send an updated resume - but they didn't provide any details about what appeared out of date. What do they want to see in an updated resume?

The fact they are asking for an “updated” resume immediately after stating you are a “perfect fit” should sound alarms off in your head.

The reality is they want some kind of direct contact from you to continue the “conversation” with you. Also, recruiters are basically cattle herders. So by puffing up your ego in one line and then placing implied doubt in the next line is their way of gaming you.

Another aspect of this is some agencies have tools that monitor resume sites and then act on your data. Meaning if you make one simple change to your resume, their system flags it and then that might trigger an e-mail being sent to you.

In general you should always look at cold contact from recruiters as what it is: A cold contact. If they have a gig you want, take a deep breath, put on your armor and try to deal with them. But from my experience of 20+ years in the tech world, anyone contacting you like this is a waste of time at best. And if you do contact them directly you might just end up on a “sucker” list where more sketchy recruiters will be contacting you with more “great” offers that are a “perfect fit.”

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    +1 - As a contractor I have a LOT of contact with recruiters and the ones who have a real, actual job and have actually read your CV can be spotted a mile off. The e-mail will be tailored, or more likely, they'll actually call you. The VAST majority (99.9%) of e-mails from recruiters are effectively SPAM. – Dan Jan 3 '15 at 18:53
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    "Because that never happens when someone who really has a position for you contacts you." Technically I have been contacted once about a job that was a 100% match for my skills - I knew that job was real and open because it was my old job. – Mel Reams Sep 28 '16 at 19:16
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Your resume may be up to date, but most people's aren't. It's easy to upload your resume to one of those sites and then forget about it for a while. For myself, I haven't updated my resume in about a year, and it was about 2 years since I had updated it before that. I've done a lot of stuff in since that time and would definitely have quite a bit to add if a recruiter wanted to see a current version. And that isn't even accounting for the fact that I would want to tailor my resume to the position if I were actually applying for a specific job.

Recruiters know this and are working under the assumption you're the same way. They aren't implying your resume looks out of date, they are simply giving you the opportunity to make whatever updates you want before they take it and forward it off to potential employer. If you are comfortable with your resume as it is, you can simply respond that what they see is good to go.

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I wouldn't overthink this.

It's likely the recruiter has matched you via search tools, and may not have given too much of a look over your resume (may use tools similar to the clients ATS which score a match to the job description as they have no background to evaluate similar skills).

It's also possible given they've given you info on the job that you will think "oh, I should mention x".

And if you are on job boards like Indeed they get a webified version of your resume, not the doc you uploaded.

So the easiest solution is just to boilerplate in their email to ask for your updated resume, there is no likely ulterior motive by doing this.

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  • This is it. The request is a standard opening when dealing with any recruiter. – Paolo Jan 12 at 16:59
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It's usually 1 of 3 options:

  1. You are missing information. This is usually a time gap, including where you are currently employed. If you are unemployed, they are looking to see that time referenced on your resume. It can also be contact info, residential city, or even job duties that appear to be missing in your work experience.

  2. They are using a template (because they get a TON of resumes lacking content).

  3. The resume they received is not the one you think they have.

Advice: Send in the resume anyway. It shows you can follow instructions when needed and it keeps the conversation short, sweet and direct. That's the fastest way to move your application to the next step.

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  • For your first item, I don’t see how a recruiter would know if someone is missing anything. You’re also making assumptions about the OP’s resume since there’s no indication that they have a time gap and/or unemployed. For your second item, I’m not sure what you mean; however, again, there’s no way a recruiter can fully know if a candidate is missing information. The candidate may not even be qualified. For your third item, this is strange. How would a candidate not know what they have sent out? Overall, I think your answer here is a recruiter making assumptions about a candidate. – KingDuken Jan 11 at 17:05
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Usually, when a recruiter (or anyone else) says they want an updated resume, they mean a resume that's appropriate for applying for the position in question. In other words, they don't want a resume that's been on your hard drive collecting dust for two years. It needs to have all the trainings you've completed, all your experience, all the way up to the present day.

It also needs to be customized for the job. I recently wrote a blog on how to customize your resume, but I'll give you the short version here. 1. Include key words. If the job ad says they want someone with "WordPress" experience, make sure the word "WordPress" is in your resume. 2. Make sure you present your experience in terms of your accomplishments, not just what your boss assigned you to do. So say, "Created a responsive version of our landing page," not, "Tasked with front-end design duties." 3. Emphasis your transferable skills. Especially if the job is a bit out of your wheelhouse.

Lastly, I'd add a little unsolicited advice: Apply for a ton of jobs! Never get your hopes up about a single one. That updated resume will help you get past the screening process, but personality and chemistry has a lot to do with how well you do in the interview process. You're not going to click with everyone. So you need to cast a wide net to find someone you'll click with.

Good luck!

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    Did you read the existing accepted answer? Do you think you added something? – Solar Mike May 6 at 17:27
  • When I switched job last year (for the first and so far only time in ten+ years of "career") I applied for one and only one single job. Of course I was afraid if they wouldn't take me, but they seemed a perfect fit, while 99% of the other companies didn't. And they were the perfect fit and are until now. Better prepare for less interviews, but prepare well instead of sending out "tons of" unpersonal, off-the-shelf applies - and I, personally, wouldn't have had the time to prepare as well for "tons of" jobs. – Jessica May 8 at 6:21

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