Updating a resume is one of those necessary tasks that always seems to fall by the wayside. Rather than updating a resume periodically, many men and women wait to work on their resume until they’re ready to start looking for a new job.
But such procrastination can make it difficult to remember all those new nuggets of information that can make a person more attractive to prospective employers. Updating a resume more regularly, such as after a new promotion or upon completion of an especially impressive project, is a good way to guarantee each accomplishment gets its due.
In addition to staying on top of things, there are additional ways men and women can update their resumes and increase their chances of being noticed by prospective employers.
Stay on top of keywords
Keywords are certain terms that appear frequently in job postings within a particular industry. Employers use these keywords to find the right candidates for jobs within their company, and job seekers use the keywords to narrow down their job search and make it more manageable. But candidates can use these keywords in their resumes in the hopes of making themselves more visible. Men and women should research industry trends to discover which words are most popular now, and then include them on their resumes. Recent examples of popular keywords include “new media” and “e-commerce.” But trends and keywords vary depending on the industry.
Men and women who earned their degree years ago might still be able to update the education section on their resume. If any certificates were earned or any courses were completed since the last time a resume was updated, include that in the education section. For those who prefer not to tinker with their education section, create a new section titled “Professional Activities” and then include courses or degrees earned post-college. This section should also reference any memberships in professional organizations or any conferences attended. This indicates a candidates’ passion and commitment to the field and his or her commitment to professional development.
Remove less relevant information
Men and women who have established themselves in their field should remove older, less relevant information as they update their resumes. Employment history is important, but baby boomers with decades of experience in their field don’t need to include every last detail about responsibilities at a first job out of college. Older experience, particularly for men and women who have changed careers, likely won’t bear much fruit and it’s always better to include as much recent information and accomplishments as possible. In addition to reducing the emphasis on older experience, also remove references to outdated technology the industry no longer uses.
Be diligent with updating
No one knows what lies ahead, and if the perfect job opportunity suddenly appears, it helps to have an updated resume that’s ready to be submitted. That requires routinely updating a resume even if the desire to look for a new gig is nonexistent.