Updating your resume can seem like a huge task to undertake, however, you should look at yours as a living document that should be constantly evolving. After all, your resume needs to improve as you improve.
Furthermore, trends are changing too. The standard black and white, text-only resumes are a thing of the past. They have been replaced with templates that look more like a social media profile (a quick modern-day resume template search online will show you how resumes are changing).
However, the goal of the resume and the need for content that showcases who you are and how you will perform as a professional has not changed. The good news is – it's not a tedious task. In just a few minutes’ time, you can have a completely revamped resume. Here are a few things you should focus on:
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1. Remove “References Available Upon Request”
If they want references, they’ll ask for them. Though it may only take up one line, you’ll find sooner or later that you need that extra space. Use it to add a detail about another accomplishment or an additional ability – these matter more to potential employers and hiring managers.
2. Delete your career objective
It takes up space and is obvious – why else would you be submitting a resume? Instead, opt for a short, biographical sentence or two. What accomplishments or experiences make you stand out as a person? Talk about who you are, rather than where you want to go. Save that information for the job interview.
3. Save the file name as “[Your Last Name] Resume”
With resume collecting done digitally now, everyone will send their documents via email or upload them to a platform. By including your last name, hiring managers will be able to differentiate yours from others. This will ensure that your uploaded file doesn’t get lost with all of the other files generically named “resume.”
4. Remove your address
If you’re not applying locally, some recruiters may write you off as soon as they see your address. If you are local, recruiters may take your commute time into account, which may or may not work to your advantage. Either way, it’s best to not take the risk. If they need your address, they will ask for it. The only thing hiring managers need to see on your resume are your points of contact, i.e. mobile number, email address, and LinkedIn URL.
5. Move education below experience
Unless you’re a recent graduate, your recent job experience is more important than your education. Display what is most important to getting the job at the top of your resume because that’s what most likely to get you hired.
However, if you are a recent graduate, include your education experience first. This is more than just the college you attended and year you graduated. Include accomplishments, achievements, honors, extracurricular activities and any educational experiences abroad.
6. Write out the full title of any organizations, certifications or titles where you have acronyms
Many recruiters use applicant tracking systems and some look for full titles (Bachelor of Arts) and some look for acronyms (BA), so you should use both forms to be safe. Additionally, some organizations or certifications may be obscure and a recruiter may not know what it stands for, so make sure you spell it out, just in case.
When to Make Major Changes and When Not To
Finally, it’s important to revamp on a frequent basis because so much of your life is changing. For instance, if you have recently graduated from college, it’s time to update the resume. Include any final achievements and accomplishments you received; and at this time, you can officially add your graduation date.
If you’re getting ready to jump into the job search market, it’s time to take a look at your resume again to see what works and what doesn’t. Should you change the format? Rearrange the sections? Add a new job or role as well as the details on your job performance?
These are times when your resume deserves a hard, long look. However, our two-minute changes can be applied at any time! Even when that random request for your resume comes in from a head hunter that found you on LinkedIn – or a friend of a friend that heard you would be great for a certain position.
Be confident in your resume! Monster Resume Services can help – for free.