Top 4 Tips to Quickly Update Your Resume

By Melanie Sampson, M Resumes and Career Consulting | Washington, D.C.

Once upon a time you created an outstanding resume. It is no surprise that you have been utilizing the same one for years. It is also no surprise that recruiters and hiring managers have been overlooking you more and more as time goes on. Regardless of how impressive your resume may be, if it is not up to date, it will be overlooked. After all, an updated resume that provides the hiring manager with the entire scope of your expertise and talents is the ideal approach to land that desired interview.

Fortunately for you, I have compiled the top 4 ways to update your resume in less time than it takes to wait for your coffee shop order.

How frequently should your resume be updated? Whenever you land a new job or obtain new abilities or expertise, you should update your resume. This may appear to be a chore, but it will take much less time than adding 5-10 years of new material all at once.

Here are the top 4 ways to update your resume in minutes:

  1. Utilize Keywords

Resume keywords may drastically affect your chances of landing a job interview. This is due to the use of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Majority of hiring managers upload resumes into an applicant tracking system (ATS) that analyzes your resume based on the keywords used. Add as many keywords as you can to increase the likelihood of your resume being viewed by a recruiter and you being invited to interview for the position. So, what’s the best way to make your resume ATS compatible?

Identify the appropriate resume keywords in the job advertisement. Feel free to use Google as a resource to find keywords for your industry. Utilize those keywords throughout your resume as many times as you can, and you will get more calls back than you ever have.

  1. Give Your Summary or Objective a Makeover

If your resume objective or summary is not attractive, it will be overlooked.

Use a resume objective if you are looking for your first job or changing careers. An objective will highlight your expertise and talents while also demonstrating your dedication.

After gaining some industry experience, you might consider changing your objective to a summary. A resume summary emphasizes your professional abilities and work experience to demonstrate to hiring managers that you are the candidate they desire.

  1. Refresh Your Work Experience

Your resume’s work experience is a substantial portion of what recruiters are looking for. If this section is not executed properly, it will have a negative will effect on everything else. If this section is very text-heavy, you definitely have some updates to make. 

First, to make your job experience stand out more, utilize bullet points rather than lengthy statements. Summarize the details of your role instead of listing every single duty you have had.  For your most recent position, use up to six bullet points, and for earlier positions, use three to four. 

Second, wherever possible, utilize statistics and measurable accomplishments rather than words. Numbers are a great way to highlight and bring attention to something.

Let’s imagine, for example, that you installed a new system that reduced quality assurance costs and mistakes. This is nice, but it hardly stands out. If you add some numbers, you end up with “installed system which decreased quality assurance inefficiencies by 40% and reduced expenses by $20K.” That paints a more vivid picture of what you are capable of.

  1. Use Words that Demonstrate Action

At one point in time, all you had to do to land a job was use simple verbs such as “wrote”, “managed”, “calculated”. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. The use of strong action verbs like “developed,” “coordinated,” and “analyzed” in place of the words listed above will be sure to grasp the recruiter’s attention. It is not just a matter of sounding sophisticated. Action words not only describe the action but also your capacity for initiative, and analytical thought. All of which are essential.