5 steps for updating your resume

Are you still using your resume from four years ago? If so, follow these five tips to update your resume.

5 steps for updating your resume

When was the last time you had a chance to update your resume? Was it a different season? Was your hairstyle still in fashion? Not sure? Oh boy.

“You should update your resume every six to 12 months to add new skills and experiences,” says Monster career expert Vicki Salemi. But the truth of the matter is, most people shelve their CVs once they're comfortably employed, letting them gather dust. If this is you, it's safe to say you need an updated resume in order to be a top contender in your quest for a sweet new job. 

Why bother with a resume update? But you never know when the next awesome job opportunity will arise, and you want to be ready for it since you have the best chance of being considered for a job if you apply within the first 24 hours. You don’t want to delay applying because you need time to update your materials.

Plus, if you haven’t revised your resume in a while, you probably have some stuff on there that dates you or makes you look stale. And with recruiters spending about six seconds viewing a resume, you can’t afford to be anything less than sparkling.

These five quick “spring cleaning” moves ensure that your resume will be a strong contender when it reaches the desk of a recruiter, and better yet, a hiring manager. So, isn’t it time you freshened things up a bit? 

Tips for a resume update
 

1. Start with the look and lingo

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

For starters, get rid of the "objective" field. That's yesterday's news and a potential red flag to hiring managers that you're not on top of current standards and practices in the workplace.

And while you're at it, toss out any mentions of outdated skills, old software programs or other examples of terminology from yesteryear that may make you seem out of the loop. "Terminology changes from year to year," says Isaacs, "so be sure your resume reflects current trends."

2. Toss the snail mail and boost your social profile

An active online presence speaks volumes to your potential employers. In fact, a recent study by the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 84% of employers recruit via social media, and 43% of employers screen job candidates through social networks and search engines. Include links to your personal website, blog and social pages. Just make sure that people who are searching for you online will like what they find.

3. Look alive!

Employers want to recruit talent that is passionate about what they do and enthusiastic about their company. Nothing kills mojo quicker than lifeless verbs floundering on your resume. A handful of action verbs on your resume will help liven things up a bit.

4. Check your fonts

Playful, unprofessional fonts are an eyesore. The worst fonts for your resume should be pretty obvious (hello, comic sans), but in case your'e not sure, take a look at some current sample resumes to see what is and is not in fashion.

5. Temper the testimonials

Of course your references are available upon request—that's a given. Don't waste valuable resume real estate by offering something to potential employers that they're going to wind up requesting anyway. Use the extra space to expound on your winning skills and work experience.

If you need more resume writing help, get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's partner TopResume.

Have you spring-cleaned your resume?