How To Update Resume To Get More Interviews?
A comprehensive guide to update resume in 2024: Tips + examples
Updating your resume is not an easy task.
Simply adding the skills you have learned in the last two years, a couple of accomplishments, and an online course you have completed is not enough to transform your resume into a powerful marketing document.
For the best result, you need to update your resume with a target job in mind, emphasizing the exact qualifications that a hiring manager in your industry is looking for. In this case, your resume will pass the famous six-second test.
This takes time and effort, but worry not. Our experts have prepared a super detailed guide for updating your resume, so you can give your resume a quality boost.
From this guide, you will learn:
- a step-by-step guide for updating and polishing your old resume;
- strategies to make your resume better than 9 out of 10 resumes recruiters receive;
- tips to give your resume a stellar professional look.
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Why update your resume?
Updating your resume regularly can be beneficial for your career, and here's why:
- Keep a track record of your skills and accomplishments - adding new skills, recent accomplishments, and relevant projects to a resume is convenient. Thus, you will not overlook something important in case you need to submit a resume.
- Apply for a new job early - companies receive hundreds of resumes for one job posting. If you send your resume in a week or two after the job is posted, a recruiter might never get to it. With a ready resume at hand, you can apply among the first and be considered.
- Make your resume look like 2024, not 2004 - keeping your resume up-to-date shows that you know the industry trends and resume writing practices. A modern resume template and design can improve the first impression.
How often should you update your resume? It is advisable to add new information to your resume regularly. However, it is difficult to make time for it if you are a busy professional. Experts recommend that you update a resume once in 6 months so that you don't miss anything important.
Tips & strategies to update your resume for 2024
Ready to dust off your old resume? Even if you haven't updated it in years, these tips will help you effectively update each section and prepare for an upcoming job search:
Update your contact info section
Has your phone number or email address changed? Make sure your resume reflects that. Use recent contact information in your updated resume, otherwise, a hiring manager might not be able to contact you.
Here are a few more tips to update your contact section:
- Use a professional email address. An email that sounds like Princess_beauty95@gmail.com doesn't make a professional impression. Use an email address that has your first and last name in it. Avoid using your corporate email to apply for jobs.
- Add links to social media. A link to your up-to-date LinkedIn profile, online portfolio with your best work, or your personal website can make a big difference. By showing examples of work and proving your competencies, you'll have a higher chance of landing an interview.
Add a resume header to impress hiring managers
Everybody knows about the importance of a compelling resume headline. Think about how you would describe yourself in 10 words. Then, make sure that your headline speaks to a target employer's needs. A well-crafted headline will work as your brand statement, grabbing the attention of busy recruiters.
A headline should contain your target job title. However, you can go further and also include your areas of expertise and your professional strengths.
Example: Creative Copywriter | Content Marketing | B2B & B2C Content Development
Consider a different resume format
Most job-seekers use a chronological resume format, as it is the most common and recruiters like it. But it's not the only format you can use. Depending on your current goals, you might consider a different one:
- A reverse chronological resume lists your jobs starting with the most recent position. This format allows you to describe each job in detail and makes your career path easy to scan.
Such a resume works best for professionals with a stable career history with no visible career changes or employment gaps. If you plan to continue your career in the same industry, opt for it.
- A functional resume focuses on job-related skills and recent training, downplaying the work history. In it, you list competencies and projects in detail, not specifying where exactly you learned those skills.
Using this resume is a good idea if you've recently graduated or are changing industries and don't have much relevant experience.
- A hybrid resume combines the features of the above two. It has a dedicated resume summary section and a list of skills. At the same time, it lists your work experience in detail, specifying your responsibilities and employment dates.
This format works well for most career situations as it gives a complete picture of you as a candidate to hiring managers. Just be sure not to duplicate information in different sections.
Ditch the resume objective
If your resume still has an objective statement, it's high time you removed it. A phrase that sounds like "Looking to join a rapidly growing company as a sales manager and contribute to your success" adds no value to hiring managers. It was considered outdated for resume in 2023, let alone 2024.
As you update your resume, use a Resume Summary or Career Highlights section instead. In 3-4 sentences or bullet points, list your relevant skills and qualifications. You can mention a degree, certifications, big accomplishments with figures, or areas of expertise - everything that can impress a recruiter immediately and compel them to read your resume from top to bottom.
Tailor your resume for a job description
Did you know that nearly 99% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems? Thousands of smaller companies follow their example.
It means that if you don't add resume keywords from job descriptions, your resume might get tossed before the hiring manager sees it.
Keywords are words and phrases describing skills, qualifications, credentials, and industry jargon. Before updating your resume, read the job posting carefully to identify keywords and add them naturally to the job title, career summary, skills section, and education.
Here are examples of resume keywords for a Marketing Manager position:
- Digital marketing
- Business development
- Marketing strategy
- Social media management
- Google Analytics
- Content creation
- Market research
- Data analysis, etc.
Basically, you will need to update your resume every time you apply for a new position. This may sound like a lot of work. However, you'll mostly be able to use the same resume and update some skills and a summary section for each specific job posting. Such an approach will help you pass the applicant tracking system and get more attention from a hiring manager.
Add skills for remote work
To keep your resume up-to-date, review your Skills section critically and make sure it keeps pace with the times.
For one, you will want to get rid of outdated skills. Remove outdated software names or basic skills that everyone has. If your resume still has skills like the internet, e-mail, or MS Office 2003, take them away.
On the flip side, add new skills you've recently learned. They can be both hard and soft skills, as well as industry software or foreign languages. If you're not sure which technical skills are valuable in your job, take a look at the skills your colleagues use on LinkedIn.
In most cases, skills work like keywords, so you will kill two birds with one stone.
To get one step ahead of your peers, also include remote work skills. Since many companies offer a remote or hybrid work format, experience with such tools as Zoom, Google Docs, Slack, Trello, AnyDesk, and TeamViewer can give you a head start.
Next to hard skills, add soft ones such as remote collaboration, the ability to work independently, written communication, and cross-cultural literacy in your professional resume.
Freshen up your work history section
The Professional Experience section is a real asset of your resume. Make sure that your updated resume lists your responsibilities concisely and aligns them with a target job description.
Here are some strategies to make your employment history shine:
- Add your recent jobs and projects. Update your resume by adding your current job, new responsibilities, and achievements.
- Write in bullet points, not paragraphs. Large chunks of text are difficult to read. Use bulleted lists to help the reader scan through your resume.
- Use strong action verbs. Start each bullet point with an action verb, for example, Developed, Initiated, Streamlined, Reduced, Achieved, etc. Such powerful words emphasize your initiative and contribution.
- Add at least one accomplishment for your current job and past jobs. Whenever possible, speak through achievements instead of job duties. Achievements show you as a result-oriented employee and employers are interested in them in the first place.
How to include accomplishments? Think about situations where you exceeded expectations, improved something, trained new employees, reduced costs, or contributed to the company's success in any other way. Add figures to prove your impact.
- Exceeded quarterly sales targets by 35% by nurturing key client relationships and increasing new customer base by 40%.
Cut off the outdated information
As you add new jobs and skills to your resume, do not forget to cut off the redundant. Leave out your past jobs if they are irrelevant to your target role. Experts also recommend that you remove jobs you had over 10 years ago, as employers are mostly interested in your recent roles. If you didn't change jobs often, you can go back 15 years.
Remove "References available upon request" if you have it in your resume in 2023. It says nothing to recruiters and doesn't help in your job searching.
Delete the excessive buzzwords, such as go-getter, team player, natural leader, hard worker, etc. Replace them with specific examples of where and how you used those skills.
Add new information about education
It is essential to keep your Education section up-to-date. A specific certification or license can inspire the recruiter to choose you over other candidates. Moreover, employers like proactive professionals who never stop learning.
Add any training, certification programs, or workshops you attended since you last updated your resume. Specify the organization's name and date. If you have a college degree, remove your high school. If you graduated less than two years ago, put the Education section above the work history.
Give your resume a professional look
When it comes to modern resumes, design is just as important as the content. After you've polished the resume content, use colors and fonts to make your resume visually appealing.
- Use no more than two fonts on a resume. You may use one font for headings and the other for the resume text.
- Keep the formatting consistent. Fonts, idents, formatting, and colors should be consistent throughout the document.
- Be careful with resume templates. Online resume templates are often overused, moreover, they might not be compatible with ATS systems. It's best to create a custom design for your resume.
Change the file name
After you have updated resume, save it as a Word document or PDF, whichever the employer requests. Use the file name as follows:
- First Name_Last Name_Job Title
Hiring managers receive hundreds of job applications. With such a file name, they will easily find your resume on their computer.
With the above resume tips, you will easily update your resume, even if you haven't updated it for years. If you have trouble identifying your accomplishments or deciding what skills to include, our experts are here to help.
At ResumePerk, we create custom resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as help clients improve their current documents. You will work with a dedicated resume writer who will make the necessary updates in your current resume to describe your skills and qualifications persuasively. Order your resume today with a 20% discount!