Life & Work

How to Polish Up Your Resume for the Year Ahead

Tips for Polishing Up Your Resume

It’s that time of the year again – everyone is excited to put their resolutions to work and make the changes they have been dreaming of for so long. And, for many of us, that whole focus is on career. No matter if you’re thinking it’s time to talk your boss about that promotion you’ve been thinking about, if you’re getting out there and networking or if you’re thinking it’s time to go so far as a complete and total career change, you’re going to need an updated resume. If you’ve kept it relatively up-to-date and you only need a few tweaks or it’s time to start from ground zero, here’s a few tips for polishing it up for the year ahead.

Tips for Polishing Up Your Resume

8 Tips for Polishing Up Your Resume

  • First and foremost get the most current information to the top of the page. Your current job, current contact information, current education – whatever it is – bring everything up to speed with where you are and what you’re up to, today.
  • Make any references to websites, e.g. your LinkedIn profile, an online portfolio, articles or other collateral you’d like to reference, live links. Gone are the days of printed resumes – it will without a doubt – be read on a computer, so make it as computer friendly as possible. If recruiters and hiring managers are able to click on and access those referenced pages, they will. So go for it.
  • Ditch any references you have regarding your age, religion or other personal information. None of that should come into play when it comes to hiring, so including it is not necessary. Free up the real estate on the page for other experience-related information.
  • Keep the whole thing simple and streamlined. A resume should be something to read where someone can gather facts and history of your career quickly and easily. Get rid of any graphics or images – even fancy fonts – that could distract the reader.
  • Update the skills section and bring that right up to the top of the page – especially if the position you’re after requires specific certifications or skills. Make it clear that you have the necessary technical and tactical skills required to get the job done. Bringing that section right up to the top, also gives you a chance to squeeze in any keywords that are directly related to the role – this may help your resume make it to the top of the pile.
  • If you’re experience goes back farther than 15 years, delete it. The last 10-15 years is the most relevant so keep it within that timeframe.
  • Spellcheck, spellcheck and spellcheck again. There’s nothing worse than a typo or spelling mistake on your resume. Ask a couple friends or family members to review and edit.
  • Don’t forget – make all these same updates to your online career search profiles also. Get your LinkedIn profile up-to-date with your current position, a recent headshot and current contact information.

How about it? Are these pretty simple updates you can make to polish up your resume for the New Year?