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Whether you've remained employed and happy for many years, but now need to find new employment or you've had a change of heart on your career, having to take the resume out and update it is a daunting process. It's even more dreadful when you look at your resume and realize a lifetime has gone by since you've updated it. Effective job searching has changed in many ways and as a result, so has the way resumes need to be written. Today's resumes need to speak to the employer immediately with information that informs them, “Here's what I can do for you." At the same time, it needs to be written in a way that the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), the software that scans and ranks your resume, can read. If your resume can't get a good ranking with the ATS, it's unlikely to get into the hands of the hiring manager. Use the tips below to get started with updating the old resume:

1. Take Out The Objective Statement And Replace It With A Summary Of Qualifications.

Rather than start your resume with “here's what I want," today's resumes need to start with information that informs employers why you're the best candidate for the job. Provide insight to specific experience, skills and accomplishments that demonstrate you are good at what you do and that it can be transferred over to benefit the next employer. Make sure it communicates your value proposition and distinguishes you from the hundreds of other candidates.

2. Add Details To Your Work Experience.

It's not enough to simply list job duties and responsibilities. Today's resumes also need to give specifics on what you did, how you did it, and what results came about to help the employer. This information is what will appeal to the hiring manager and it's what will distinguish you from other job applicants. But for most employers, before the hiring manager even gets to see the resume, all resumes will go through the ATS to get ranked so there are two audiences to impress the computer and the hiring manager. The ATS requires roles and responsibilities and the hiring manger needs accomplishments. Get more tips reading: “You Have 2 Audiences When Writing A Resume."

3. Watch Out For Abbreviations.

In a world where communication has taken a new form with text messages, tweets and other forms of social media, condensing communication is key. However, on the resume you want to spell words out (at least on the first mention). It's especially important to watch out for keywords that define the job and the skills that are needed because the ATS may not know to look for a match in the abbreviated form. Even the most qualified candidate for the job doesn't have a shot if the ATS is not pulling up their resume for the hiring manager to review.

4. Customize Your Information.

The generic resume that's sent out to ten different employers isn't going to work today. Employers are looking for candidates who can specifically meet their needs. Carefully read the job posting and the employer's latest news to customize and tailor your information in a way that will appeal to them directly. Job searching hasn't gotten any easier and when your resume isn't current with today's times, it'll be even harder for employers to take notice of you.

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.
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