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How To Update Your Resume

Why Updating Your Resume Is Important

How to update your resume in 5 steps

You want to make your resume as competitive as possible in order to get selected for an interview, and to do this you want a potential employer to be aware of all your relevant experience to date. For example, if youve been at the same company, or even held the same title, your experience, skills, and accomplishments may have changed, making you more qualified for positions that you would consider an advancement in your career.

We live in a world that is constantly refreshing. We crave new, up-to-date information, and when we see something that isnt current we begin to question it. This is precisely why your most recent experience will in all probability be your most relevant. Resume space is finite, and unless you’re at the executive level were talking two pages max. So its out with the old, and in with the new as far as updating your resume is concerned.

List All Previous Work

A master resume can be easier to create if it’s in a chronological format. To accomplish this, you can start by writing about all your previous jobs. This can take some time, but it’s beneficial to be thorough when you’re creating an effective master resume. Be sure to include these details:

  • Official job title

Focus On Recent Experience

Although on occasion it is necessary to include something earlier, employers are generally only interested the last 10-15 years. An shouldnt contain job positions from before then. Similarly, only include your most recent or most relevant qualifications.

Only include your high school if it is your highest level of educational achievement. There are exceptions. If you are writing a student resume or you are writing a resume update after graduation it is natural to focus more on your education.

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Resume Tip #: There Is No Need To Include All Jobs

The most frequent question I receive from clients is how far back to go on their resume. Should they include that first job from 1985? The answer is no. Typically, resume writers will recommend only including the relevant past positions within the last 15 years of employment.

If you really have trouble killing some of your career darlings, you can include your older job positions in a Career Note at the end of your professional history just be sure to omit any dates.

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Use Active Voice In Your Sentences

update resume

Passive voice can get dull if thats the only type of sentence your resume has. Whereas, an active voice makes it more engaging.

Like anything, there needs to be a variety. When applying an active voice, it focuses on you being the subject and main spotlight. This also helps with making your resume more readable and less clunky.

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Stay On Top Of Trends

Resume fashions change and a huge shift occurred when companies moved from paper resumes to emailed PDFs or online versions. Now many HR professionals will be looking at resumes on a screen, its important to make yours visually enticing.

Research resume trends for your industry to see the latest design ideas. Creatives tend to have colorful and cleverly designed resumes while the administration sector might have one color and a clean design.

No matter what style you go for, steer away from the dull classic resume of twenty years ago. Even a simple black and white resume can be modern with a little flair and a clean layout.

Mention Your Remote Work Experience

Pointing out any position you held where you worked remotely is especially important if you were a remote manager. With more roles than ever becoming fully remote, employers are looking for employees who have the skills and personality to finish their tasks on time with little oversight. Companies also want managers who can maintain connections with remote team members while ensuring everyone accomplishes their work before the deadline.

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Address The Career Change In Your Cover Letter

You should seriously consider writing a cover letter for every job application you submit — even those that dont specifically ask for one. A cover letter is a great way to make a strong initial impression on a hiring manager and provide more background on your career transition. It also enables you to create a more tailored application.

Choose Two Fonts Maximum

How to Update Your Resume

You want to use different font sizes to get peoples attention and make different sections of your resume clear, but using several fonts distracts recruiters and looks inconsistent. Choose two fonts most sources prefer sans serif and double check you use them for the same purpose throughout your resume. Resume components like this show employers youre detail-oriented more than writing detail-oriented ever will.

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Change Your Font And Layout

Beyond the information in your resume, the design itself often benefits from an update. Experiment with various font and layout options from your current library or download others from the internet. Consider options that are professional, but also add a personal touch relevant to yourself and your desired role.

Read More:10 Fun Resume Ideas for Creatives

Apply Resume Trigger Words

Trigger words will evoke your reader to put some thought into what youre saying.

When it comes to resume writing, these can be used to make your resume more intriguing and significant. But, theres one catch. You need to keep away from the weak action verbs and overused buzzwords.

These need to fit in with what youre saying and they should be used correctly.

Using the wrong words as well as applying them in the wrong context can influence the impression of your recruiters negatively.

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Tailor Your Resume For Each Job

Resumes arent one size fits all. As mentioned, an ATS will search your resume for keywords, skills and phrases that are consistent with the job description. Focus on the required and preferred qualifications in the job postingthese are likely the terms the ATS will scan for so you want to make sure theyre included in your resume if you have experience with them.

The ATS will also predict your proficiency with these qualifications by the number of times theyre listed in your resume. This does not mean you should overload your resume with buzzwords in places they dont make sense. Modern ATS technology can raise a flag when resumes appear to be overstuffed with keywordsnot to mention that employers may be turned off if your resume makes it to them. An appropriate way to include the relevant qualifications would be to list them in your professional summary, skills and experience sections.

Related:How To Create an ATS-Friendly Resume Template

Update To Pass Application Tracking Systems


The number of companies using applicant tracking systems continues to rise. Adjust your resume to include important keywords and phrases that companies are looking for in the screening process. Review the job description and ensure you have the right skills and qualifications listed based on the role.

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Updating Your Resume For A Career Change

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At some point in your career, you may decide to pursue a different career path to better align with the interests and skills youve developed over time. A different field may offer better benefits as well, such as more opportunities for advancement or a better work-life balance. Once youve made this decision, youll likely need to update your resume to be a competitive candidate for jobs.

In this guide, well review how to update your resume for a career change when you have minimal experience in your new field. Here are six tips to revise your resume amidst a career transition.

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Include Projects And Volunteer Work To Highlight Relevant Skills

If your work history is more sparse than youd like, or if your job experiences dont adequately reflect your relevant skills, you can also showcase other projects that youve done. Projects are an excellent way for career changers to show hiring managers that they have practical skills for the new role and give you the opportunity to include keywords for the new job into your resume.

Lets imagine that you are seeking a job as a software developer, and you spent one month last summer developing a phone app for ordering groceries online. Heres how you might showcase this project on your resume:

InstaGrubTechnologies used: Python, Redux, PostgreSQL, Express.jsDesigned architecture and user interface of mobile app for grocery deliveryEnabled users to purchase food from 15+ grocery store chains

The same can be said for volunteer positions. Volunteering may not always be financially realistic, but if youre able to do it, you can build experience and get your foot in the door in a new area of interest. It also shows recruiters that you are committed to your new chosen field — that youre applying for jobs with intention and purpose, and not simply firing off your resume to random job postings.

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How To Update Your Resume On Linkedin

One thing you want to look out for when having your resume on your LinkedIn profile is making sure its always up to date. You dont want to seem sloppy to your future employers with a resume thats a few years old.

To update your resume on LinkedIn, youll have to delete your old one and upload a new document. Once you have your updated resume ready, go to the Featured section of your profile.

Click on the resume youd like to replace, and select Delete. Once you delete the item, follow the steps described under the How To Upload Your Resume On LinkedIn section of this article.

To avoid any confusion from potential recruiters, keep an eye on your resume on LinkedIn and make sure its always fresh and up to date.

Tailor Your Resume To Your New Role Or Industry With Keywords

3 Steps To Update Your Resume

Your resume should be as specific as possible to the job youre after — dont simply create one resume and send it to every job opening you can find. Make sure you read through the job posting thoroughly, take note of the hard and soft skills theyre seeking, and address those specific skills in your resume. Not only will a well-tailored resume impress the hiring manager, it’s also more likely to make it past resume-scanning services .

The most accurate way to make sure your resume is well tailored to the position you’re applying to is to use Targeted Resume — this will analyze your resume and the job description you’re applying to, and will tell you what your resume is missing.

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Consider A Resume Makeover

If youve tried the tips above and are still not happy with how your resume looks, it might be time to invest in a resume makeover.

As we mentioned before, you can hire a professional resume designer to accomplish this, but you can also just start from scratch. This is certainly more time consuming, but if you find youre editing every section of your resume, it may be better to start from square one.

Include Your Most Recent Education

If you have received any additional education since last updating your resume, you can list this in its respective section. Be sure to include the institution you received this degree from, the degree’s name and the year you earned it. You should list your education chronologically, starting with your most recent degree.

If you have your high school diploma listed in this section, you can remove this unless the employer requests it. Hiring managers are often more interested in viewing degrees or certificates earned from educational institutions like universities or trade schools.

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Why You Should Update Your Resume Regularly

Most people only update their resume when theyre ramping up their job search. Theres nothing wrong with that. The odds are pretty good youll only need a current resume when youre job hunting.

But, just because you arent actively job hunting doesnt mean an amazing opportunity wont land in your lap. Thanks to modern technology, networking takes place all day every day. You never know when a recruiter might pop into your inbox.

If youre a little behind, youve not got to update your resume. And, depending on when that last happened, you might have trouble remembering all the things you want to include. Or, you rush the job, and it ends up being, well, rushed. And, while you could send out your current resume, sending out something that hasnt been updated in a long time wont impress the recruiter.

But, serendipitous jobs coming your way isnt the only reason to update your resume regularly. Regular updates help you stay on top of things.

Remembering the big wins at work is usually pretty easy. But the smaller things? The minor but no less important achievements that help you shine as a candidate? Well, those can be harder to remember.

Regular resume updates help you keep up and keep track of those smaller wins. If nothing else, a regular resume review session helps you remember all the details surrounding those wins so you can more effectively describe them on your resume and help recruiters understand how those wins can benefit your next employer.

Optimize Rsum With Keywords

update resume

Based on sample job descriptions of roles Beth might aspire to, TC identified keywords Beth could expect to see in her target job listings and maximized their use throughout her résumé.

TC incorporated these keywords and phrases throughout every section of Beth’s résumé, from the “Areas of Expertise” table at the top to the “Technologies” section at the end.

“This technique will also help Beth’s résumé pass the robotic screen and advance it to a live person for review,” Augustine said.

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Resume Summary Or Objective

Your resume summary or objective statement either provides a quick overview of your current skills and experiences or areas goals youre hoping to accomplish in your career .

If your current summary does not reflect your most recent, relevant and impressive qualities, update it with any new skills or experiences you have gained. Keep your summary brief by only including key achievements instead of several tasks or responsibilities from your past.

For example, if your resume summary currently states that you are a skilled and attentive teaching assistant, but you have since earned a teaching license and worked independently as a lead teacher, you may want to change your summary to state that you are a skilled and certified teacher.

Additionally, if you have an objective statement on your resume and have since gained professional experience, you might consider replacing it with a resume summary. Objectives are best for recent college graduates or those with limited work experience.

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Update the formatting

Format your resume to ensure it can easily be read by both humans and AI. The first look at your resume will likely be done by AI via an applicant tracking system , but after it passes through that phase, it will be reviewed by a person. Keep things clean and simple, and ensure that your formatting is consistent throughout the entire resume.

Change paragraphs or long blocks of text to bullet points and use an easy to read font like Arial at size 10 or 11. Put headings, jobs titles, and section descriptions in bold so they stand out during skimming. Change written numbers to numerals, as a number stands out more than a word does.

Save the file with an easy to find file name

Keep the file name simple, following this format – First Name Last Name Resume Year. This ensures that youll always upload the correct resume to your applications, and you can easily find it at a later date.

The file should either be a Word doc or a PDF. Word docs are easier for an ATS to read, so when in doubt stick with that format. The advantage of a PDF is that the formatting stays consistent regardless of how its opened, so if youre sending it directly to a hiring manager, a PDF is the better option. Always double check the instructions, as some systems list the file type that needs to be submitted.

Remove references available upon request

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Write A New And Updated Summary

Since you’re searching for a new position, it’s likely that your career goals and ambitions have changed since you last created your resume. To reflect this, you can write a new summary that details the experience and skills you’ve gained from previous positions and the new goals you have for your career.

For example, if you’re planning to pursue a management role, you can explain in your summary that your searching for a senior-level position. Hiring managers often look at your summary to decide whether they should continue reading your resume. Listing your updated skills, experience and career goals tells them what you’re searching for and how your skills apply to their role.

Tailor Your Resume Keywords To The Job Posting

Update Your Resume & LinkedIn Profile

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

So 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 companys requirements, you have a higher chance of moving past the ATS software and getting noticed by recruiters.

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