New Year, New Resume

By Natalie Urquhart, CARW

Quick tips for updating your resume.

A new year inspires change. Even if you are not actively searching for a different position, channel some of that energy into updating your resume so it is ready to go if a new opportunity arises. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you revitalize your document:

  • Contact information. Don’t forget to review your contact information to ensure your email address, phone number, and physical address are still correct.
  • New targets. Changing careers? Targeting a different industry? Update your resume to reflect this. Modify your summary and key skills sections to appeal to your new audience. If you have a “Select Achievements” or “Career Highlights” section, be sure to include content that is relevant and exciting to hiring managers in your new field. Do your research to find out which buzzwords you should include.
  • New qualifications. Did you achieve a degree last year? Receive a certification? Master a software program? Enroll in an academic program? Add these details in to your resume. Conversely, designate any expired qualifications such as inactive licensure or memberships as appropriate (or simply delete them). Be sure all of the content in your resume is up to date.
  • Pay attention to dates. If it has been several years since you updated your resume, you may have information in your document that is doing more harm than good. Generally, dates and details from 15 or more years ago should be eliminated.
  • Adjusting your career history. Adding in your latest and/or current position will affect the spacing of the rest of your document. Check to see if your resume spills onto an additional page and consider eliminating your furthest back position to make room for the new one. If a current position on your old resume is no longer current, be sure to adjust the dates and ensure all content is presented in past tense.
  • Review the entire document. Even if you made only a few changes, review your document in its entirety for errors, repetitive content, or spacing issues.
  • Create multiple file types. Once you have finalized your new resume, create Word, PDF, and plain text versions to meet the varying requirements of online job boards and applications.
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