Updating your resume is a crucial step in the process of job-hunting. This task need not be daunting and/or time-consuming. A few small changes can have a big impact.
Why is it important to update your resume?
An updated resume provides information regarding your latest work assignments, current levels of experience/skills and recently acquired qualifications. This shows potential employers that you have spent time and effort learning and upgrading and that you stay up to date with industry changes and trends. The impression created makes it more likely that you’ll be called for an interview.
How often should you update your resume?
Update your resume when you obtain new hard/soft skills, add a certification or complete volunteer work that is relevant to your career. Every three to six months is a good time frame. Hunting for a new position is stressful. An updated resume reduces the stress, easing the process. Remember to retool your resume for each position you apply for, targeting the hiring manager at the specific company to which you are submitting.
How do I update my resume?
There are a number of simple steps you can take to revise your resume.
- Remove old positions: Consider removing entry-level roles from 10 to 15 years ago as they may no longer be relevant.
- Update your skills section: Make sure you list all soft skills (problem-solving aptitude, listening skills, organizational abilities, teamwork capability, creativity, leadership abilities, etc.) and hard skills (accounting strategies, computer programming, video/audio production, data mining, cash management, diagnostics, social media management, etc.) that you have acquired. Add classes taken and programs mastered.
- Move relevant achievements/skills to the top: Arrange your resume so that your most relevant selling points are at the top of the page. This increases the chances that the hiring manager will note them.
- Check keywords: Jargon is constantly changing, affecting the words being scanned by recruiters and applicant tracking software. Note the keywords in the job postings in your industry and use them in your resume.
- Update formatting: Ensure readability by using a standard font and leaving plenty of white space. Replace paragraphs with concise bullet points. Use numerals rather than written numbers (5 instead of five). If possible, keep your resume to one page. Extra information can be used in the cover letter.
- Include a career objective that summarizes your skills/training/education, years of experience and purpose for applying. This 2 to 4-sentence introduction focuses on your professional, personal, and academic achievements.
- Remove unnecessary words such as articles (a, an, the), pronouns (I, they, we), adverbs (words that end in “-ly”) and bulky phrases.
- Replace weak words with action verbs that clearly explain your job duties (boosted, enhanced, expanded, improved, propelled, increased, maximized, etc.) capturing the attention of the hiring manager and making yourself appear confident.
- Replace passive voice with active voice: Using active voice (i.e.: managed) creates more clarity than using passive voice (ie: was led by me), making it easier to read and understand your resume.
- Save it correctly: Save your resume as a PDF so that it maintains formatting. Make sure the filename includes your first and last name and the word “resume.”
- Proofread carefully: Read your resume aloud. Ask a friend or family member to review it to catch typos, grammar mistakes and other small errors.
- Use the services of a placement agency: Staffing agencies help you fine-tune your resume; give you tips on interviewing and discuss salary and benefits. They increase the chances that your resume will capture attention.
By taking a couple of minutes to make a few small changes to your resume, you increase the chances of capturing a recruiter’s attention. Time updating your resume is time well spent!
Looking for a new position? Need help preparing and/or fine-tuning your resume? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, and collaborative staffing agency and we are here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.