Resumes & Cover Letters

Guide to Updating Your Resume

February 11, 2020

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If you’re actively seeking new employment, it may be necessary to update your resume. Your resume should always reflect your most recent, relevant and valuable skills, experiences and qualities. Before you apply to new jobs, it’s important to review your resume for outdated information and to update each section as necessary. In this article, we’ll explore when you should update your resume, why it’s important to keep your resume fresh and what information to include in each section.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

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Why is keeping your resume updated important?

The information you include on your resume should highlight your latest skills and experiences that make you an outstanding job candidate. Over time, you will likely acquire new skills, gain more experience and possibly earn new degrees, certificates or licenses. As a result, your resume should be updated to reflect those changes.

Your resume should also display your current level of experience including your number of years in an industry and level of your current role whether that be entry-level, mid-level, senior or higher. It will also help you during the negotiation phase, as you can leverage your current skills and experience by expanding on those resume details.

Related: Best Skills to Include on a Resume

Resume Format

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How often should you update your resume?

You should revisit your resume at least twice a year, especially if you’re currently employed. If you’re out of the job market but currently seeking work, you should refresh your resume as often as possible and as soon as anything occurs that may make you a more competitive candidate. Here are a few additional indicators that you should update your resume:

1. When you have important career updates. This might include taking on new responsibilities, achieving a large goal, or after receiving promotions, licenses, certificates or degrees. You may also want to update your resume when you have learned a new skill such as proficiency in a programming language or industry-specific software application.

2. When information becomes out of date. For example, if you have been at a company for five years and still have information about high school in your education section, you should remove it and only list your most recent academic experience such as your associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Other sections you should pay attention to for out-of-date information include:

  • Volunteer positions
  • Clubs and organizations from school
  • Awards and achievements
  • Internships
  • Jobs you held early-on in your career

You should keep your professional experiences section to jobs from the last 10–15 years. If you have little to no professional experience, it is okay to keep less relevant positions to show that you are reliable and able to hold a job.

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What to add to your resume

Each section of your resume should have the most relevant information. Before updating your resume, carefully review each section for opportunities to add more relevant information.

1. Resume summary or objective

Your resume summary or objective statement either provides a quick overview of your current skills and experiences (summary) or areas goals you’re hoping to accomplish in your career (objective).

If your current summary does not reflect your most recent, relevant and impressive qualities, update it with any new skills or experiences you have gained. Keep your summary brief (one to two sentences) by only including key achievements instead of several tasks or responsibilities from your past.

For example, if your resume summary currently states that you are a “skilled and attentive teaching assistant”, but you have since earned a teaching license and worked independently as a lead teacher, you may want to change your summary to state that you are a “skilled and certified teacher”.

Additionally, if you have an objective statement on your resume and have since gained professional experience, you might consider replacing it with a resume summary. Objectives are best for recent college graduates or those with limited work experience.

2. Education

Your education section should always be updated with the most recent and relevant education you’ve obtained through formal sources. This can include certificates or degrees from a regionally or nationally accredited institution, licenses, or certificates.

You can also include recently completed coursework in this section with a short summary about the class. Relevant coursework shows that you’re committed to learning new skills and acquiring knowledge, even if that coursework is not connected to a degree.

3. Professional history

Your professional history, should be updated when you begin working with a new employer, receive a promotion or new job title, or when you take on new responsibilities.

You may also want to update your professional history to remove outdated jobs that are no longer relevant to your career trajectory. For example, if you’ve been employed as an associate CPA for 3 years, your work as a cashier during college may no longer be relevant.

Your resume has a limited amount of space, and employers are only able to briefly review most resumes. Include the strongest and most relevant information on your resume to help ensure hiring managers get a complete picture of your current experience.

4. List of relevant skills, tools and certifications

Your skills section should be updated to include not just any new skills or certifications you may have obtained, but also any advancement in previous skills you have listed.

For example, if you previously stated that you have “intermediate-level experience” with a software application and have since increased your skill in that area, update your resume to state that you now have “expert-level proficiency”. You might also include the years of experience you have using the tools that are most valuable to your industry.

When updating your resume, you should also take time to review the job description. Pay attention to keywords they include that align with skills you have and add those to your skills section. Leave off skills employers list if you do not feel comfortable expressing experience or proficiency in them.

5. Additional relevant accomplishments

If relevant to jobs you’re applying for, you might also include any other accomplishments you’ve earned since wrote or last updated your resume. Only include accomplishments that align with your career goals and can be verified.

6. Hobbies and interests

You may have acquired new hobbies or interests since last visiting your resume. If any hobbies or interests have changed and are relevant to your career goals, consider adding them if you need to support your resume with additional information or if your hobbies will be beneficial to the employer in some way.

Easily apply to jobs with an Indeed Resume

How to update your Indeed resume

To update your Indeed resume, do the following:

  1. Go to Indeed.com and click on “Sign in”
  2. Click on your username on the top right to get the drop-down box, and then click on “Resume”
  3. Next, click on “Resume”
  4. Now, click on the pencil symbol for each section that you want to edit
  5. When you’re done editing each section of your resume, click on the “Save” button

Keep your resume updated as you gain new experiences, increase your skills and advance in your career. An updated resume will help potential employers accurately assess your strengths. To increase your chances of a successful interview and potential job offers, always update your resume with the most recent and relevant information that best reflects your current skills and experiences.

Easily apply to jobs with an Indeed Resume

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