Your resume is the way you introduce yourself to potential employers. It’s your first impression, and you want to make it memorable. This guide can help you make sure you update your resume in a way that puts your best foot forward, so you land your next great career opportunity.
The Importance of Updating Your Resume
If you’re like most people, you put together a resume once upon a time when you were on the hunt for a job. But, your resume isn’t a one-and-done. It will likely change considerably over time as you gain new experiences and skills. That’s why you should periodically update your resume to best reflect the qualifications you bring to the table.
Resume Writing Tips
One way to get yourself on the right track from the start is to search for examples of resumes for your field. By reviewing resumes from other candidates like you, you can make sure you’re covering all the bases. Here are some more helpful tips as you dive in and update your resume:
Update Your Contact Information
Make sure your address, email, and phone number are all current, so a prospective employer can easily reach you without issue. This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s easy to overlook when you’re trying to get into the real details of your work experience.
Take a Look at Your Formatting
Again, this may not seem critical, but it can make a difference to your prospective employer. Make sure to provide information in a concise, easy-to-read format with the most important details placed at the top of the document. There are many templates available online that can help you set up your resume in a modern format.
Freshen Up Your Goals and Objectives
Chances are that your priorities have changed since you developed the last version of your resume. Make sure that you spend a little time considering what you hope to accomplish with a career change. Most employers want to hire people who are thinking beyond today, so listing your goals and objectives statement can help you send the message that you’re goal-oriented and future-focused.
Add New Skills and Remove Outdated Positions
Add your most recent position and read through the rest of the content to see if it tells the right story about your skills and experience. Even if some of your experience isn’t in the same industry or field, consider how that position may contribute to a new position, and edit the details as appropriate. For example, if you’re applying for an administrative job in healthcare and have only worked in manufacturing, try editing your experience to reflect areas where both have similar priorities like efficiency, accuracy, being detail-oriented, etc.
Make Sure You are Using the Right Keywords
If the last version of your resume doesn’t include keywords relevant to the position or industry, now is the time to add them. Again, this is where finding other example resumes online can help you determine what language is essential to include—to increase your visibility and send the right message about your skills. For instance, if you’re looking for a job in technology, you may want to include words like troubleshooting, technology or technical, customer service, quality assurance, etc.
There’s nothing worse than spending the time getting all the details right, only to have a glaring typo that potentially takes you out of contention. When the document is in a good place, read it out loud, from top to bottom. Another good choice is to put the draft aside for a few hours or overnight and read it with fresh eyes. That’s a great way to catch mistakes. You may also want to have a friend or family member give it a read to help you catch any typos.
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