Survey Suggests Professionals Overestimate How Prepared They Are for a Job Search

MENLO PARK, CA -- Employees say they expect the unexpected when it comes to their careers, yet a new survey suggests there may not be a lot of action to back up that claim. Although 82 percent of workers polled said they would be ready to conduct a job search if they lost their jobs tomorrow, only 20 percent had updated their resumes in the last three months. Forty-four percent hadn’t revised their resumes in more than a year.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 493 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment.

Workers were asked, “How prepared are you to conduct a job search if you were to lose your job tomorrow?” Their responses:                       


Very prepared   39%
Somewhat prepared   43%
Somewhat unprepared   9%
Not at all prepared   __9%


Workers also were asked, “When did you last update your resume?” Their responses:


Within the last month   12%
Within the last three months   8%
Within the last six months   16%
Within the last year   16%
It hasn't been updated in over a year   44%
Don't have a resume   2%
Don't know/no answer   __2%

“Workers who are prepared in the event of a sudden job loss also are ready when new employment opportunities arise, including those within their own companies,” said Reesa Staten, senior vice president and director of workplace research for Robert Half. “A current resume is an essential career tool -- the longer it remains untouched, the harder it is to update, since specific achievements are not always easy to recall. Creating a ‘personal personnel file’ where you place kudos can help you keep track of your successes.”

Staten added, “A compelling resume is just the first building block of a successful job search. It’s also imperative to have an active network and up-to-date skills. Many people may focus on one particular area during a job search when many factors can play a part in career advancement.”

Robert Half has more than 360 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

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