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Update Your Resume!

Author: Jojo Varona

Keeping your resume current and updated is something that everyone should be doing even if they are not looking for work.

Why is updating your resume important?

Updating your resume provides employers with information of your recent work experience, skills, and qualifications, and makes them more likely to pick you over other candidates because they can see you’ve kept your skill set relevant.

Submitting a new and improved resume shows:

  • You have gained new knowledge and have upgraded your skill set

  • You are looking for career growth

  • You are staying up-to-date with the latest changes in your industry and the newest resume trends

How often should you update your resume?

You should update your resume every time you obtain new hard and soft skills, certifications, or major work or volunteer experience that are relevant to the career path you want.

If you don’t have time to maintain your resume regularly, try updating your resume every 3–6 months (even if you already have a job).

Although you can still write a great resume when you’re starting your job search, try to refresh your resume consistently so you can save time and unnecessary stress.

Proactively updating your resume and being ready at a moment’s notice also prepares you for job opportunities that come up.

Updating your resume regularly can also help you apply for promotions at your current company. By promptly submitting your resume for an internal position, you show your employer you’re self-motivated, organized, and fully prepared to take on a new role.

Keep the resume simple but comprehensive and have appropriate sections

Hiring managers spend mere seconds scanning each resume, so create a standard resume with all of the essential components for them to easily glance at your information.

When starting your resume, organize your resume sections in this order:

  • Resume header (with your contact details)

  • Resume objective

  • Work experience section

  • Skills section

  • Education section

Update your resume’s formatting and design

If you’ve been using the same type of resume since the early 2000s, it’s time for a change. A simple way of enhancing your resume’s appearance is to modify the formatting and layout.

Change your resume format. Use the reverse chronological resume format to present your work history in chronological order from your most recent experience to the oldest. This format is the best for most job seekers because it’s what hiring managers are used to.

However, if you’re changing careers or have a work gap in your resume, consider using a:

Functional resume (which highlights your skills rather than your work experience)

Combination resume (which showcases a mix of your skills and employment history)

Adjust your resume font and size. Hiring managers don’t want to look at a resume with a font that is small, large, or unprofessional. use a standard resume font like Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman, or Georgia.

Keep your font size between 10–12 points so your words fit neatly on the page and appear organized and professional.

Remove old positions and dates

You may want to list all of your previous positions on your resume, but employers have limited time and would rather see a one page resume with the exact qualifications and skill set they seek.

To write a concise one page resume, try:

  • Listing 3–6 bullet points for each of your jobs

  • Removing dates and positions that are 15+ years old

  • Taking out skills and experiences that aren’t relevant to the industry you’re applying for

  • Writing a two page resume is okay if you’re a professional with 10+ years of relevant experience, applying for management or leadership positions, or have many technical skills and certifications that fit the role you want.

If applicable, refresh your contact information

If you’ve recently moved cities, changed addresses, or updated your professional profiles, don’t forget to modify your contact details in your resume header to reflect the new changes. Make sure that you have a professional email address and your preferred method of contact.

Tailor your resume keywords to the job posting

Most companies use applicant tracking software (ATS) to find suitable candidates who used the same resume keywords from their job postings.

Try writing an ATS friendly resume in 2022 by selecting the exact keywords from the job description and using them throughout your resume.

By tailoring your resume keywords to the company’s requirements, you have a higher chance of moving past the ATS software and getting noticed by recruiters.

Good luck!

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