15 Resume Revision Tips To Help Get You Noticed by Employers
Updated June 30, 2023
Preparing a resume is something all job candidates must do to stay competitive in the workplace. Professionals from every industry and job level need a resume that's both visually appealing and organized with their most marketable information regarding experience and career history. A resume revision may be the act that helps you get the job you've been searching for. In this article, we explain when you need to revise your resume and offer tips that can help you revise your resume into a professional document that gets an employer's attention.
Why should you revise your resume?
Updating your resume is an ongoing process that you'll need to do throughout your career. Once you take the time to make changes and updates to your resume, you'll be prepared to quickly apply to a job and may be one of the earliest candidates to show interest in the position.
Here are indications that you may need a resume revision:
You're getting into the workplace for the first time. You may need a resume revision to change your focus as you move from student life to pursuing a job in your field for the first time.
You're transitioning in your career. If you're pursuing a new job after earning a degree or going back to school to study in a new field, update your resume to reflect these changes.
You're applying for a new position. Revising your resume before you apply for a new position is essential to make sure you highlight your most marketable skills as they relate to a prospective job.
You've earned new credentials. Any time you get a new job title or earn additional certifications that add to your professional experience, it's a good time to update your resume.
You've started a new job. It's a good idea to revisit your resume after you've started a new position. Many jobs follow a 90-day trial period, but once you've settled into the position, update your resume with your new credentials including your start date and the new company information.
You haven't updated your resume in a while. Professional trends change. If you haven't looked at your resume in a long time, set aside time to refresh the overall format and revise the information you include.
14 tips for resume revisions
Here are some ideas that can help you revise your resume to attract more potential employers:
1. Commit to regular updates
Some professionals choose to revise their resume monthly or every time they achieve something important at work. Others wait six months to a year to make changes. As long as you plan to periodically check and update your resume, you'll have an easier time getting ready for new jobs as you find them.
2. Create multiple versions
For professionals with multiple skill sets and areas of expertise, it can be beneficial to create separate resumes for each competency. You may also want to create a resume that briefly combines two or more areas of skill. Use each one interchangeably, depending on the job you want. If the job requires you to use multiple skill areas, use a combined resume. Otherwise, you can select the specific resume that best fits the skills needed for that position.
3. Refresh the style
If you haven't updated your resume in a while, you may also need to redo the visual design of the file. Resume styles change to reflect business and social trends. Your resume may prove more attractive to prospective employers if the format looks current instead of dated.
A resume update may be as simple as refreshing the font and layout of each section. Simple graphic design elements can help update the look of your information. If you're wondering how to redo your resume in a more current style, look at samples of what other professionals are using. You can also find plenty of templates and resources for professional resume styles.
4. Look for ways to be unique
Find ways to make your resume stand out and show your individuality in a professional way. You can do this through creative word choice and adding details that give an insight into your personality and interests. A technique some professionals use on a resume is to create a personal headline or introduction statement that summarizes their skill set and gives a brief insight into who they are.
You could use a phrase like this at the top of your resume:
Example: Graphic designer and visual artist seeks workplace that values creative thinking.
5. Make every section relevant
You may need to make a resume revision to ensure you accurately describe your professional abilities. As you revise your resume, remove old references and language that is no longer common. This could mean technological jargon or skills that are obsolete due to social and industry changes.
6. Shorten it
Unless you are applying for a position that requires a curriculum vitae (CV), shorten your resume. One page is often enough to create a scannable and informative resume that attracts prospective employers. Many hiring managers and recruiters view such a large number of resumes that they need to be able to quickly read and understand your skills and potential as an employee. Keeping your resume short can help your chances of getting noticed and chosen as a job candidate.
7. Remove outdated job histories
As you advance in your career and increase your professional experience, you may need to remove jobs that are no longer relevant to prove your skills. For example, as a college student, it can be important to build credibility and show your experience in the workplace through a summer job or internship. However, once you hold a job for a period of time after graduation, it won't be necessary to list positions that don't relate to your career path. For longer career histories, only the past ten years at most are relevant for your resume.
8. Adjust your skills section
Many professional resumes include a separate section that list skills. This is also an area to revise often based on newly acquired abilities that you develop throughout your career. You may also want to remove skills that aren't as relevant to the job position you seek.
9. Edit for grammar and style
As you make resume revisions, it's also important to reread for grammatical errors. If you update a skill or add to your job experience, reread the section once to check for any mistakes. Close the file for a time then look at it again to double-check that you haven't missed any errors. You can also ask a friend or family member to read your resume so they can identify anything you may have missed.
10. Add social tags
Another resume revision professionals make is to include information about their social media accounts. Many in the workforce consider inviting prospective employees to view their social media platforms as a way to introduce themselves. This can include a personal website with work-appropriate content that acts as a resume extension or portfolio. You may want to include only those platforms where you maintain a professional or neutral presence specifically for networking opportunities.
11. Include current training
It's appropriate to list certifications and training you've gained from work experience. If you haven't done a resume revision in a while, take the time to update your professional education and development. Depending on the training, you can add it to a separate section for professional certifications or the academic education part of your resume.
12. Make a summary statement
Instead of an objective statement, more professionals are creating a summary or personal statement that gives an overview of your professional self. Include two or three brief sentences stating what you do best and how you want to use those skills.
Example: Fully licensed physical therapist with fifteen years in private practice specializing in water rehabilitation and geriatrics. Ready to join faculty of recognized college training program to instruct next generation of healthcare students.
13. Insert keywords
If you're opening your resume to apply for a new position, make small changes using keywords from the job's description. Add these words to your job experience, skills and summary statement. Make sure you use words that match your skillset.
14. Add specific examples
To amplify your resume during a revision, you can also focus on updating the language you use to explain work responsibilities and experience. Try to use quantifiable amounts and figures within your explanations. For example, instead of saying you helped grow company sales, state that you added 15% more customers to the client list than the previous year's total after you joined the team.
15. Consider using a service
If you're changing jobs, starting out in a new industry or just feel that your resume needs a complete redo, you might consider hiring a professional resume reviewing and writing service. Most resume writing companies offer packages that vary in price and level of detail.
You can choose to get a consultation about how your resume fits current professional standards and trends and proceed to make the changes yourself. You may also opt for a complete rewrite from a professional resume writer. It may be time to consider using a resume service if you find it challenging to get a response after you apply for multiple positions.
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