With kids back in school and colder weather in the near future, you’ve made the decision to start working again. After coming across a few positions you would like to be considered for, it hits you that your resume is probably outdated. Sound familiar? Before you become completely overwhelmed, here are some tips to quickly freshen up your resume.
- Information should be short, sweet, and to the point.
- Include actual accomplishments whenever possible rather than duties.
- Numbers matter. Data such as sales figures, purchasing amounts, cases/clients handled, or money saved jump out at the person reading your resume.
- Current jobs should be in the present tense, and former jobs in the past tense.
- Take off any reference to high school.
- The only information left from college should be your degree earned, any honors you graduated with, and the year. Classes taken, clubs and activities no longer matter once you have real world experience.
- Make sure there are absolutely no typos!!
- Bullet points are preferred over large paragraphs under each job because they are much easier to read.
- Education can be moved to the bottom of your resume after you have a job post-graduation that is relevant to your career path.
- Skills/Certifications may be moved to the top if your industry requires something specific. Otherwise, keep them near your education section.
- The sections near the top of the resume should be the most important information that you want the recruiter or hiring manager to read.
- Make sure the jobs are listed in chronological order, with the most recent at the top.
- Don’t use charts, graphs, or images. Applicant Tracking Systems have trouble reading this information and your whole resume can be distorted as a result.
- Pick a professional looking font in black ink, no bigger than size 12.
- Use simple bolding, italics, or underlining to make your name, job titles, and/or company names stand out. (Think less is more. There is no need to bold, italics, and underline all the information)
Other Helpful Hints
- Have a Microsoft Word AND a PDF version of your resume saved so you can easily follow the directions of the job posting.
- Keep the file on your phone if possible so you can access it on the go.
- Have a couple friends or family members read your resume each time you make changes.