In a first email from a recruiter, she asked me for an updated resume. I want to get back to her as soon as possible, but I don't have an updated resume.

I want to reply to her telling her that I don't have my resume ready, but I will give her one soon. My problem is that I don't know how to word this professionally.

How do I tell the recruiter that I don't have my resume ready, but that I will work on one and give it to her as soon as it is ready?

  • 19
    "Hi, I'm just in the middle of updating my resume. I'll send it to you shortly."
    – Jane S
    Jul 24, 2016 at 3:28
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    If you received the email over the weekend, if you have it ready by Monday then just send it through. That's not an issue.
    – Jane S
    Jul 24, 2016 at 4:00
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    Why is this on 4 close votes? It's a very basic and simple question but not one without answers or that's unclear.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 24, 2016 at 13:41
  • 3
    @nvoigt It's an obvious answer to others but not me. Why does that make the question unclear? Jul 24, 2016 at 17:12
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    @michaelsnowden I don't know if you'll see this, but: I'm sorry you got such a negative reception here, and we're actually discussing this question on meta -- some of us think it should be reopened (though if it's deleted we can't do that). Your question might be basic but this site is not for experienced people only. Jul 25, 2016 at 12:59

5 Answers 5


You are massively overthinking this. If your resume is not up to date, and you need a few days to update it, the professional way to say this is:

My resume is not up to date, and I need a few days to update it.

Check that it will be OK to get back them in a few days.

  • 5
    The only thing I'd change with this answer is to give a specific date. This has two purposes: it tells the recruiter when they can expect to hear back from you more precisely, and it gives you a deadline to target instead of slacking off with "I've got a couple days, I'll do it tomorrow"
    – alroc
    Jul 29, 2016 at 14:43
  • I agree with @alroc, giving a specific date (and the likelihood of meeting it) is important also for your peace of mind, since most recruiters usually put a lot of pressure and will eventually start asking about an update more frequently than you'd feel comfortable. Also in some situations they may know the likelihood that the position is filled by then.
    – Fabio
    Jul 30, 2016 at 9:08
  • "Please refer to my LinkedIn profile in the meantime for an up-to-date overview of my experience." I hate people who pro-actively contact me and then first want an up-to-date CV...
    – parasietje
    Aug 2, 2016 at 10:19

I've been in the same situation before. Just be honest with the recruiter and tell them something like:

It's been a while since I updated my resume, I'm going to need a some time to get it in order. If I send it to you on (some reasonable date a few days out) will that be OK?

Good recruiters know that not everyone is actively looking for other opportunities and may not have their resume ready to go when contacted out of the blue by a recruiter. Asking for time to get it done well is not at all unreasonable.


Keep it simple.

Dear Recruiter,

Thank you for your interest in me. Let me review the job description and get back to you with an updated resume that highlights my applicable experience. I should have it ready to you by Friday at 7pm. After that, lets set some time up on Tuesday to discuss the job and your process further. Thank you very much for the opportunity and I look forward to working with you in the future. Have a great weekend!



That's all you need.


My advice is not to get into the situation in the first place, don't job hunt without a resume. Period. It's counter-productive and wastes other people's time. Now that that's said, I would tell the recruiter that I'm making some changes to my resume and to give me a couple of days (it should not take more than a couple of days to stay relevant to the position). Regardless of what you pick, avoid showing the fact that you're not ready to recruiter at all costs, as that will instantly disqualify you most likely or move you to the bottom of the list.

  • 3
    You're forgetting that very often the recruiters will be the ones contact people who aren't actively looking to move on.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 29, 2016 at 21:13
  • Recruiters use sources such as monster.com to compile cold call lists of people to contact who's resumes resemble the employer's requirements. For a recruiter to contact you, your information has to be available somewhere, most likely on a job board site. Disregard everything I just said if you're a founding engineer for google that Amazon is trying to snipe, but for the rest of us it holds true.
    – RandomUs1r
    Jul 29, 2016 at 21:23
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    I get contacted a few times a week by recruiters and I'm only on LinkedIn. I haven't updated my resume in ages so if I was contacted about a very interesting position I would have to scramble to get my resume up to date if I wanted to apply. If they're looking to fill the position quickly I'd want to respond to confirm my interest and promise to send along my resume in a day or two.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 29, 2016 at 21:34

A short answer:

I'm sorry, I do not have an updated resume at the moment.

While I am updating it, is there any particular area that I should focus upon that would help align my skills and experience with the position you have in mind?

Also, is there a preferred format?

Thank you,


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