Valerie L. Sizelove
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Freelance writer, mom of four.
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A shining resume is your golden ticket to being noticed and landing interviews. The problem is, if you haven’t kept your resume up to date over the years, it doesn’t accurately reflect your skills and capabilities. It might be time for a resume reboot.

Not only does your resume need to be updated, but it also needs to be polished and refocused. By taking the time to revamp your resume and make it better, you’ll be getting more interviews soon enough. But where do you start?  The process of updating your resume might seem stressful, but if you break it down step by step, you’ll find that it really won’t take too long.

8 impressive ways to refresh your resume

Not only does your resume need to stand out from the crowd, but it also needs to give your potential employer essential information about you that will make them want to take another look. If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be on the road to landing your dream job.

1. Get rid of the old.

(5 minutes)

If it’s been a while since you last updated your resume, chances are some of your older experience is no longer relevant. Employers don’t care about a job you had 10 or 20 years ago, and your more recent experience will speak volumes more than your early experience. Only keep the most recent career history that helps prove your credibility for the position.

2. Spruce up the design.

(30 minutes)

Catch your potential employer’s eye with an interesting but neat resume design. This will help you avoid a boring, outdated resume that blends in with the rest. Use a template in your word processor program, or find resume templates online. But don’t overdo it. While a little design can help you stand out, too much can be overkill. 

3. Update your skills.

(15 minutes)

Your skill set has likely changed since the last time you were searching for a job. Read over the skills section of your resume, making sure the list accurately represents everything you can offer a new employer. Think about any new skills you’ve picked up recently, perhaps at your current job, and make sure they are added to the list. Any skills that are irrelevant to the job you’re applying for should be removed. Even when you’re not actively applying for jobs, it’s helpful to add skills and achievements to your resume as you gain them.

4. Refresh contact information.

(5 minutes)

Just like everything else on your resume, your contact information should be current. Double-check your email address, phone number and LinkedIn profile link to make sure they’re correct. That way, you’ll be sure an employer with interest can actually reach you. It won’t be appealing to employers if your link is broken or you don’t respond to an email because you never see it.

5. Use a professional summary instead of an objective.

(10 minutes)

The traditional “objective” section of a resume is unnecessary in today’s hiring world. Hiring managers sift through loads of applications and don’t really care about every applicant’s career goals. Instead, you can utilize this first-seen area of the resume to summarize your professional experience. That way, when shuffling through applications, you'll catch the manager’s attention with what you can offer the company — a much stronger first impression.

6. Add some keywords.

(30 minutes)

Lots of employers these days use software to sift through applications, sorting out those with powerful keywords. If your resume contains some target keywords, it will be prioritized. Sift through job ads to find common words used for the role you’re seeking. Then, see where you can fit them into your existing resume. Make sure to use them appropriately and sparingly. Too many keywords can look like a desperate attempt for attention.  

7. Remove personal information.

(5 minutes)

You may have been advised at some point to personalize your resume with information such as hobbies and interests. This was a more standard practice in the past, but again, due to the volume of today’s applications, employers don’t want to spend time reading about your personal interests. Instead, they want to know what you can offer in the workplace. You can share personal information after you land the job, when you’re getting to know people at your new company.

8. Clean it up.

(5 minutes)

Read through your resume and notice if any areas seem too wordy. It’s hard to condense descriptions of your skills and experience into simple phrases, but it’s important to make your resume easily readable and scannable. A resume with lots of white space surrounding the text is more visually appealing because of its simplicity. 

Keep it updated

It’s difficult to project on a single piece of paper who you are as a professional, especially when you’re trying to keep things simple. So, it’s all too easy to create a resume, store it away and pull it back out when it’s time to apply for jobs. 

Don’t let yourself get stuck in a resume rut. Instead, keep looking for ways to catch the attention of future employers. It’s also important to tailor your resume to each job you apply for. With these resume update steps in mind, you’ll soon be on the road to the job of your dreams. 

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