Tips to spring clean your resume

It's time to open the windows and let in some fresh air. These resume tips will help you look sharp and find new opportunities.

Tips to spring clean your resume

Spring is in the air. It's the time of year when you wipe off the winter dust and let the sun shine in. Before you get all excited (yeah, right) about tackling the filth in your home, grab your resume and a pen. The first cleanup project this year should be a resume update.

The content

Refreshing your resume starts with keeping it current. If you've changed jobs during the past year, earned a promotion or expanded responsibilities, your resume should reflect this. Even if you've remained in the same position, you've probably achieved noteworthy accomplishments in the last year. 
Don't forget to include your new skills, both hard skills and soft skills.

The look

Whoever says looks don't matter hasn't been out on the job search battlefield lately. You have to use every possible advantage to compete in today's job market.

Make sure your resume looks polished. Be daring. Make your achievements stand out with bold type. Looks do count if you want to be picked for an interview.

Facelift

Does your resume look old and withered? Has it grown to three or four pages over time? Do you still list your first job after college graduation? Give your resume a facelift by making it more concise. Take some years off your resume by limiting your job history to the past 10 years. Summarize the rest of your experience with one general paragraph. A lighter, more updated look should open more doors.

Today's terminology

Does your resume still refer to the affirmative action plan you wrote back in the 1980s? Do outdated terms and acronyms appear throughout your resume?

Terminology changes from year to year, so be sure your resume reflects current trends. For example, today's employers are searching for HR people with diversity experience. Your experience with a company's affirmative action plan may fall in that category, but if an employer searches its database using the word "diversity," you won't make the cut. Update the terminology on your resume so you don't miss opportunities.

Scanning is here to stay

Today, resumes are typically scanned into resume databases, so you’ll want to consider these applicant tracking systems that could be the first to review your resume before a human ever gets to it. Fill your resume with keywords that match the job description of the position you're applying to.

If you dust off your resume every year or two, you can avoid the unpleasant task of doing a time-consuming major resume blowout. Get it right this year, and next year you might be able to spend the time shopping for a new spring wardrobe.