When was the last time you updated your resume? Hopefully, your answer isn’t “Right before I got my current job.”
Your resume should be a dynamic document, always changing, always in flux, and always updating to reflect your career successes. Even if you’re not job hunting, it’s a good idea to rethink your current resume and add to it to reflect what you’ve accomplished in your current role. Let’s look at 8 tips to reboot and upgrade your resume.
Change the layout
You don’t have to confess it, but if your resume is using the same format from a decade ago, you might want to consider a new layout. It’s not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with your current resume design. It’s just that everyone else is using that same layout.
A new design can help you stand out in a sea of sameness, catching the eye of a potential employer or HR manager.
Add your most recent experiences
Once you have a new design, start with your most recent experience including the job you’re at right now. Craft this section as if you were going to apply for a new job tomorrow, including your amazing accomplishments and experiences.
Why add it in today? Because you want to add it when it’s fresh in your mind. Revisit this section each time you do something notable. This way, when you’re actually looking for a job, you don’t have to try and remember what you accomplished a few years ago.
Change your verbiage
Action words that are concise and to the point help tell the story better than long paragraphs. Which sounds better:
I helped bring in new revenue.
Increased revenue by 25%.
Not only is the latter quantifiable, but it also uses direct language that demonstrates what you did in fewer words.
Add in or update your skills
Not every resume includes them, but they should. A section using simple bullet points highlighting major skills is helpful for both scanning by ATS systems and quick skims by HR representatives. This doesn’t need to be a long section, but it should be robust.
As a bonus, add these skills to your LinkedIn profile; or, if you’ve already added them on LinkedIn, pull off the most applicable ones for your resume.
Say goodbye to the objective
Resumes in the late ’90s and early 2000s included (at the recommendation of career counselors, mind you) a “Job Objective.” They usually began with the standard “To obtain/find a job…”
If you’ve been at the same company for many years, you may not realize that this section has been replaced by either a Career Summary section or the aforementioned Skills category. In either case, employers know you’re looking for a job in their industry, otherwise, you wouldn’t be applying. Make better use of this space with content that helps to sell who you are and what you can offer an employer.
Demote your education
For many managers and long-term business professionals, our education was what we used to get our foot in the door for entry-level positions. It should never be the first thing on your resume. In most cases, I recommend making it the absolute last item on your resume. You still want to include it, just not highlight it.
“References upon request…”
…is already assumed to be the case. Don’t waste a single inch of space on your resume with this phrase. Any company knows that they can ask for references. As with the Job Objective, use this space to add in additional accomplishments or career success you’ve had.
Proof and revise
After rebooting your resume, run it through Grammarly. You’d be surprised at how even the best writers miss small things, such as subject-verb agreement.
Next, read the Grammarly-proofed resume yourself and see if it catches your attention. Now is a good time to let a trusted friend review it. They’ll catch things you missed and can offer feedback. Revise it based on their feedback, and proof it yourself once again.
As you add in new content or accomplishments, run it through Grammarly once again to look for any mistakes that may have popped up in your new additions.
Reboot your resume in anticipation of your next career move
It’s simply a part of the reality we live in that we never know when we may need to find a new position quickly. Whether due to a corporate restructuring or your own choosing, at some point you will apply for a new job. This particularly rings true today. Millions of people are reconsidering their career choices prompting the “Great Resignation” but before you do, make sure you are being strategic with your resume.
Consider your current resume: is it modernized in its appearance and does it reflect your current career successes? Does it include your skills and does it provide an employer with a snapshot of what you can offer them? If you answered no to any of these, take some time to update your resume today.
Alternatively, if you need help, I’m here to help. CONTACT ME and let me know you’re trying to modernize your resume. I’d be happy to schedule a time to sit down and go over some tips specific to your situation so that you can achieve the career success you’re looking for!