How To Edit My Resume To Stand Out?
How to edit my resume? 12 tips from a professional resume writer
Every job search starts with updating and refining your old resume. You need to remove what's irrelevant, add new amazing accomplishments and skills you've gained, and brush up your resume for a target position.
On the flip side, to give your resume a quality update, you need to understand what exactly to pay attention to during the editing process. Otherwise, you'll be at risk of submitting a resume that undersells you for the job and jeopardizes your interview chances.
Today, our resume-writing team will share tips on how to edit your resume like a pro and emphasize your key strengths. We will offer advice on how to update each resume section and how to optimize the document for an applicant tracking system. Let's get started!
Want to be confident in your resume's quality? Our company offers comprehensive resume editing for students and professionals. An experienced resume editor will brush up your resume, correct all mistakes, and add a catchy summary written with your target role in mind. More importantly, we will optimize your resume with keywords to help you make a stellar impression on hiring managers.
How can you edit your existing resume?
If you haven't updated your resume for a while, you may feel overwhelmed at first. But worries aside - follow the steps below to update your own resume like a pro:
Start with the new information
Think about the big changes since you last updated your resume. Did you receive a promotion, get the extra responsibilities, or achieve some amazing measurable results in your current role? Or maybe, you took a leadership role in the community project or completed your Master's degree?
Make sure to add these facts in the first place. If you overlook them, the hiring manager might decide that you lack relevant qualifications. When adding something impressive (such as a degree or a measurable accomplishment), mention it early on the resume so that a reader can see it instantly.
Update resume design
The way your resume looks also contributes to the first impression about you. To make an even better impression, consider a modern resume template with a clear structure and a readable font. Opt for a template that looks professional and uses little color and graphics just to emphasize the key points.
Be careful with templates from a resume builder - some of them might be not ATS-friendly. The best strategy is to create a template on your own in a word processor so that it looks truly unique. Yet, if you don't have design skills, you can look through online resume templates that are compatible with ATS.
Add a resume header
If you are not using a resume header yet, it's high time you added it. A well-crafted title will help you grab the attention of busy recruiters. Include your target job title, and specialization, and quickly communicate to a hiring manager what kind of role you're after. Place the header right after your name and contact information.
Here's an example of a headline:
Senior Project Manager | IT & Telecommunications
You can extend it a little and add your unique selling points. Ask yourself: How would you introduce yourself to a recruiter in under ten words?
Attach links to your social media
Add links to your professional social media, online portfolio, or personal website next to your contact information. It will help the recruiters better evaluate your skills and your personality.
Avoid linking to your personal social profiles, and update privacy settings on them so that you don't make a wrong impression.
Use a hybrid resume format
A chronological resume format is a never-aging classic. But, with today's competition, you need to get down to the most important stuff quickly. For that, a hybrid (or combination) resume format works best.
Start your resume with a summary that puts forward your areas of expertise, competencies, and special accomplishments. Let them know at a glance what you're great at. Add any details that can urge the hiring managers to choose you over other candidates - for example, a recently obtained certification, an advanced degree, a record-breaking growth of sales, or else.
Update your skills
As we progress in our careers, our skill set evolves as well. Some skills become redundant as we focus on more on-demand ones. Make sure that your resume focuses on the relevant skills that the specific job ad asks for.
Say, if the company is looking for a graphic designer who can work on websites for the banking industry and train junior designers, focus on this type of experience precisely. In terms of skills, you may emphasize such competencies as visual communication, storytelling, knowledge of the banking sector, and leadership. Such an approach will give you a head start during the hiring process.
Add measurable results
Today's job market is super competitive. To gain a competitive edge, add at least one accomplishment for each job you had. Use figures, and percentages, and add context to illustrate your impact. Here are the examples:
Bad: Increased yearly sales.
Good: Surpassed yearly sales target by 45% by implementing a targeted client engagement strategy.
Tip: Not sure what counts as an accomplishment and how to emphasize your strengths best? Our in-house resume consultants can improve both your resume content and design. We will focus on your skills and relevant achievements to present you as the best fit for the role. Chat with us to get started.
Make sure your work history is scannable
One of the most challenging things in resume writing is balancing between adding much information about your past jobs and making it easy to read. On average, recruiters spend under 10 seconds to review each job application. The formatting in this section plays a key role in choosing your resume for a closer review.
Avoid including large chunks of text or too many bullet points. Using 7-8 brief bullets is enough for most job-seekers. Cut down this section, keeping only the most relevant information that proves you have all the qualifications to excel in a new job.
Add remote work skills
In 2024, adding new skills for remote collaboration is a must. Many jobs offer a remote or hybrid format, so knowledge of the particular tools can actually convince the recruiter to choose you over others. Here are the examples of remote work skills and tools:
- Google Docs
- Team Viewer
- AnyDesk, etc.
If the job posting requires specific tools, include them in your resume where applicable. In addition to software and tools, you might want to emphasize such competencies as the ability to work independently, written communication skills, business acumen, reliable equipment and network, cross-cultural literacy, and more.
Cut down the redundant
If your resume takes over two pages, remove the outdated facts to shorten it. Employers are interested in the recent job history, so you can delete your first job as a waiter and any employment you had over 15 years ago. Cut off the skills you no longer use and irrelevant facts that don't present you in the best light.
Pay close attention to the language your resume uses. Find words and phrases that sound awkward and replace them with industry keywords, especially if they are in the job description. Remove phrases like "Planning to obtain a position in a fast-growing reputable company" or "References available upon request".
Replace the objective statement with a summary
If your resume still has an objective statement, replace it with a good summary. Today, objectives are considered outdated as they don't add value to employers and don't show how you can contribute. Use a summary that focuses on your most relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments.
Use action verbs
In 2024, you have mere seconds to get the hiring managers interested. So, every word you use matters. Take a look at how you start your bullets in the Work History section. Is it all managed, led, and responsible for over there?
If the answer is yes, it's time for a change. Replace dull words with powerful action verbs that communicate initiative and proactivity. Here are some examples:
- Hired, etc.
Proofread to catch errors
According to the statistics, 59% of hiring managers can toss a resume with mistakes. As you have updated your resume, read it several times to make sure it has no grammar, spelling, and stylistic mistakes. Use an online spell checker to streamline the process.
Read the resume text aloud to catch long sentences, unclear statements, and vague phrases. An error-free resume shows your communication skills and helps create a great first impression.
How to edit your resume online in PDF?
Many employers today request PDF resumes. This format is convenient as it saves your formatting and design, ensuring that it opens correctly on any smartphone or laptop. On the flip side, what to do if you need to edit your PDF resume?
Here are the three strategies you can use:
- Edit your resume in PDF online - use one of the online PDF editors, for example, Formatpdf.com. Upload the resume and update it by adding the text and formatting. After that, you can save an updated resume on your computer.
- Download Adobe Acrobat on your computer - this software allows you to edit PDF files on your computer without access to the internet. It also offers advanced features for document editing.
- Convert PDF file to Word - use an online service that will save your PDF resume as a Word document. Ilovepdf.com is a good example. After you save the document as a DOCX file, you will get access to all features of Microsoft Word and can update it as a Word file.
Impress the hiring manager with an updated resume
With this step-by-step guide, you will manage to update your old resume and save it in any format you like. However, in some career situations, it takes more than minor brush-ups to liven up your old resume. If you haven't updated your resume for 5+ years, or if you are planning to change industries, you are likely to need more in-depth changes.
At ResumePerk.com, we specialize in creating resumes even for the most challenging professional situations. Our experts can prepare a good resume for you in 2-3 business days. If you need a resume for a grad school, your next job, a promotion or a C-level position, we will prepare a document according to your wishes to help you stand out.