Typically many people don't bother to update the resume until there's a need for it, and when they do they don't know where to begin. If you're finding yourself in such a scenario, help is on the way. Whether it's been two years or ten years since you last updated your resume, you can get it back in tip-top shape for your new job search.
Related: 4 Tips To Updating The Old Resume
While there are many things about the resume that haven't changed, there's also things that have changed that you need to know about as you go about updating your resume.
Here we'll begin with the things that have changed in resume writing and then follow it up with what hasn't, but that you should pay special attention to.
The Header is where you include your name and contact details on the resume. If yours still lists an AOL e-mail address, it's time to get a Google email address. Little things like this can leave an impression with employers that you're not up-to-date and stuck in the past. More employers are also comparing information on the resume to the candidate's LinkedIn profile, so rather than have the employer do their own search for your profile, include your personalized LinkedIn URL in the header. This is especially important for those who may have a common name because you don't want to the employer to receive misinformation by viewing a profile that's not yours. If you're not on LinkedIn, it's time to set yourself up with a profile because a job candidate that doesn't have an online presence today (at least on LinkedIn) is a sign they're not up with today's times. Read: “4 Steps For Building A Great LinkedIn Profile."
2. Profile Summary / Executive Summary
A Profile Summary, also known as an Executive Summary replaces the ancient objective statement on the resume. It's no longer about indicating what you want the employer to offer, but what you have to offer the employer that it needs. Speaking of ancient lines on the resume, the statement of “References available upon request" can also come out. Clearly it's expected you'd provide references to help complete screening and background checks if the employer has an interest in you.
Provide detail to your roles and responsibilities and key accomplishments on the job. At one point most people were informed to simply include highlights and key accomplishments under Work Experience because the general roles and responsibilities are known, but with more employers now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to help filter through resumes, any match in keywords related to roles and responsibilities helps improve your resume ranking.
4. Keep Everything Bite-Sized
Most employers today aren't sitting down and spending several minutes on each resume, it's more like seconds – 7—8 seconds to be exact. When you keep information bite-sized, it makes it easier for hiring managers and recruiters to read and find information they need to determine if you're worth a callback.
Since many of today's resumes are run through the ATS, you need to take caution with how dates are presented on the resume. The ATS reads information on the resume with a different approach than how a human reviewer would, so you want to avoid throwing in dates randomly as you describe experience or accomplishments because the ATS will typically associate it as an employment date. You also need to avoid using seasons like Winter or Summer to indicate and employment period because the ATS does not know how to interpret that information. For more tips and insight, read: “How To Make Dates On A Resume Work For You."
Lastly, it's unnecessary to state the year you graduated from college because it can give away your age, which can be a factor for discrimination.
Education is less a factor of importance in most cases when you already have some years of experience under your belt in the field. Prioritize the information you present on the resume leading with what's most important to the employer for the job. You want to shift sections of the resume, like placing Education towards the bottom when you have more important sections to highlight like Work Experience.
A resume filled with misspellings and other writing errors call out unprofessionalism. Don't rely on Word to help you catch mistakes because they may catch some, but not all. Always get the help of another pair of eyes to read it over for you.
As you can see, while there are things about the resume writing that are still familiar, a lot has also changed. Apply the tips above so you present yourself with the best front and get that callback for an interview.
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About the author
Don Goodman's firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert.