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How to Update Your Resume with 7 Simple Adjustments

Women updating a resume

You don’t need to completely scrap your previous resume in order to update it. Though there have been some changes in resume standards over the years, there’s no need to start from scratch. After making the simple alterations outlined in our guide on how to update your resume, you’ll be interview ready in no time.
  1. Use Action Verbs

As you’re going back through your resume, it’s crucial that you replace any passive verbs with active ones. You want the interviewer to get the sense that you’re passionate about your work. In order for this for be effective, you have to portray an enthusiastic tone in your writing while simultaneously providing descriptions of prior work experience. For instance, instead of stating “A multi-million-dollar contract was signed in my department,” you should say “My department signed a multi-million-dollar contract.” In using active voice, you’re claiming to have participated in the action, and that’s what potential employers want to see.
  1. Find an Appropriate Visual Style

Depending on the job you’re applying for, you may even want to update the overall layout of your resume. Limit your style elements such as colors and fonts to only two or three choices that are consistent with your personal brand. This will help you avoid overwhelming the reader, causing them to overlook your incredible qualifications. Keep in mind that simple fonts and colors are usually more effective than ones that are complex - your resume should still look professional.
  1. Remove Your Personal Information

In the past, it was common to see personal information like hobbies and marital status listed on a person’s resume. Today, HR departments consider these details a distraction. Your resume should always be professional and include only what’s relevant to the job in question.
  1. Update Your Work History

Though it might be tempting to diversify your resume, it’s important that you only include job experience that is relevant to the position you’re currently applying for. You also shouldn’t include positions that were held over 15 years ago due to changing regulations and work methods in certain fields.
  1. Update Your Education

Similarly, you shouldn’t include dates relating to your education on your resume if you graduated over 15 years ago. However, you should update your education section if you have recently gone back to school or studied for a new degree.
  1. Update Your Skills

If any of your skills have changed since you last used your resume, it’s crucial that you let a potential employer know what your new skills are. These new skills could be what sets you apart from other applicants.
  1. Revise Your Summary

You probably aren’t looking for the same things in a position as you were in the past. It’s for this reason that you should change your summary to reflect what you’re currently looking for and how you have grown in your field. For instance, if you were looking for a mid-level position during your last job search, make it known in your summary that you’re now looking for a senior-level position.