Updating your resume is one of the best ways to revive your job search process and secure your next career opportunity.
It’s pretty simple. You remove the things you don’t need and add the things you do need.
Everything included should be relevant to where you are in your employment timeline. To update your resume effectively for your next job application, you’ll need to bring new life into your document.
In this guide, we’ll go through the process of rejuvenating your resume step-by-step.
How Do I Get My Resume Noticed?
There are several resume tips and writing techniques you can do to get your resume noticed by the hiring manager.
You can stand out in your resume by either visual means or through the content itself.
In terms of visual means, this may include:
- Resume formatting
- Bullet points
- Font choice
- One-page resumes
On the other hand, in terms of the content presented itself this may include:
- Relevant work experience
- Personalized application
- And more...
Another easy way to get noticed, stand out, and land several incoming interviews is by using Rezi’s resume builder. When Ryann tried it out, this happened:
“It ultimately landed me 5+ interviews, a few offers, and one full-time job! My current employer was so impressed and said that they had not seen this caliber of a resume with any of the other candidates”
How Can I Update My Resume in 2021?
It sounds simple enough, but what exactly should you change and update within each of the resume sections used?
There’s a lot of different things on what to put on a resume, including:
- Resume format and design
- Contact details
- Work experience
- Additional sections
- Remote work
- Active voice
- Trigger words
Each of these steps are applicable despite what industry you apply to. We’ll cover this process step-by-step. Let’s get right into it.
1. Consider Changing Your Resume Format and Design
Use an ATS resume format that’s friendly for the company’s resume scanners and for the human eye.
You’ll need to update your resume for where it’s appropriate in where you’re currently at in your career timeline. In order to present this information to your employers in the best possible way, it’s worth considering your formatting options so it’s easy to read.
The type of resume you can use include:
- Functional resume
- Combination resume
- Chronological resume
There are also other settings that are important such as your resume font, margins, and spacing.
For every modern resume though, you should use bullet points under each section. It’s more readable and gets straight to the point.
2. Update Your Contact Details
If any of this has changed ever since you created your resume, it’s vital to update it. Otherwise, you won’t be informed whenever a prospective employer reaches out to you and it’s a wasted career opportunity because of a simple resume mistake.
When updating your contact information, this may include:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Website links/LinkedIn profile
This should also be one line long only. It’s easier to skim and read through for the recruiter. Any further than that is unnecessary.
For every ATS resume you create, this needs to be correct.
3. Update Your Resume Skills Section
Update your resume skills section with anything new and relevant that you’ve developed.
Don’t include skills if it has no correlation with the job position you’re applying for. It’s also good if they align with your career timeline and previous work experience where they’ve been put into action.
However, not all job descriptions are the same, even if you’re applying for the same position.
That means you need to check against their job posting to ensure your resume matches what they’re looking for. You can load a list of all the things you need to include in a few minutes with Rezi’s AI keyword targeting tool.
Here’s how it works:
4. Update Your Work Experience
Your resume work experience needs to be updated with your most recent and relevant employment.
That means removing old job positions and including any new results or responsibilities you’ve carried out. Again, make sure to check against the job description for the new career you’re applying to so you don’t miss out on any of the ATS resume keywords required.
5. Update Your Education
Include any additional qualifications you’ve studied in.
You should also mention where you achieved the qualification and when you completed it. If you haven’t already, you can also include your GPA as long as it’s a score of 3.0 minimum.
By the way, this isn’t strictly limited to your education section. This refers to any other resume section too where qualifications can be included. E.g. training, projects, and relevant coursework.
6. Include The Relevant Resume Sections
Anything that’s outdated either needs to be omitted or replaced with something insightful, i.e. an additional resume section that’s relevant for the hiring manager.
Look at the things you no longer need to open up some more space on your resume. If you can, you should aim for a one-page resume. It’s doable when you pinpoint the things you need and remove all fluff and irrelevant information.
For example, include a resume summary section that covers an overview of your career objectives or employment timeline.
7. Include Remote Work If Possible
Growmotely found that 74% of professionals expect online work to be the new norm.
The pandemic has had a big effect on the workforce. With how covid-19 has affected the way companies and employees operate, online work has become more important.
Most businesses have had to focus on putting themselves online and building an online presence. If you’ve got any remote work to talk about, you can use this to your advantage and stand out by briefly going through your process on how you’ve managed to adapt.
8. Use Active Voice In Your Sentences
Passive voice can get dull if that’s the only type of sentence your resume has. Whereas, an active voice makes it more engaging.
Like anything, there needs to be a variety. When applying an active voice, it focuses on you being the subject and main spotlight. This also helps with making your resume more readable and less clunky.
9. Apply Resume Trigger Words
Trigger words will evoke your reader to put some thought into what you’re saying.
When it comes to resume writing, these can be used to make your resume more intriguing and significant. But, there’s one catch. You need to keep away from the weak action verbs and overused buzzwords.
These need to fit in with what you’re saying and they should be used correctly.
Using the wrong words as well as applying them in the wrong context can influence the impression of your recruiters negatively.
10. Show How You’ve Made a Difference
Describe how you’ve made an impact in the workplace and in any general professional setting.
Accomplishments show that you’ve made a real difference and that you’ve done a commendable job. To reinforce this, use personal examples and data when you can, e.g. you got the highest score in your engineering coursework.
How Far Back Should a Resume Go?
A resume can go as far back as 15 years into your employment history. The main question you should be asking yourself though is if it’s relevant enough to include. If not and it’s basically fluff, you’re better off omitting it from your resume.
What Is The Shortest a Resume Should Be?
An entire job document could fit into a single page. Broadly speaking, one-page resumes tend to be more impactful. But, that doesn’t mean you should barely touch your resume and send it with pretty much nothing there.
If it’s literally empty and doesn’t have much content, it suggests to employers the following:
- You didn’t take the time to create a proper resume
- You don’t have much to talk about
And if you don’t have much to talk about at all, then it’s an indication that you’re not qualified for the role. Even if you have no experience, there’s a good chance that there are different things you can talk about.
How Should a Resume Look in 2021?
We’ve included a few proven ATS resume examples below that enabled candidates to land interviews and jobs at reputable companies. They’re all formatted in a simple way but it’s highly effective as all the contents and necessary sections required have been included.
Assistant Policy Intern Resume (Interviewed at Accenture)
Customer Service Representative Resume (Interviewed at Apple)
Data Engineer Resume (Interviewed at Facebook)
If you haven’t found a starting point yet or you don’t know what to write, you can take inspiration from our list of 251 ATS resume templates and cover letters!
Final Piece of Advice
It’s always good to check in on your resume every few months to update your progress and professional development.
Apply each of these steps and integrate them into your job-hunting strategy. Finding your next career opportunity becomes easier and you won’t have second thoughts about whether or not you’re missing any key information.
With early preparation, you’ll be ready for a career change at any time in any given situation.