Five Tips to Update and Strengthen Your Resume

By Davlon Miller

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Most people only update their resume when they start a new job search. However, updating your resume regularly is important for several reasons. You’ll be able to immediately jump on opportunities when they arise or be prepared for unfortunate, unexpected situations. Updating your resume also gives you a useful tool for performance reviews and helps provide a clear picture of your career path. Keeping your resume up to date will save you time (and stress) in the long run.

Let’s look at some tips on how to refresh and update your resume:

1. Update Your Format

Employers want a document that is simple, concise and can be quickly scanned. Avoid using templates, as many are not Applicant Tracking System (ATS) friendly and challenging to reformat to your needs. Choose a font, such as Calibri or Ariel, that is clean and easy to read. Check out our Resume Checklist for other formatting tips.

2. Be Clear and Concise

Use bullet points with short sentences or statements, but don’t skimp on information. Be specific about what you did. Make sure to spell out acronyms and don’t repeat yourself.

3. Focus on skills and accomplishments

In talking about experiences, don’t just state your job description, but focus on what skills you utilized and developed and your accomplishments. Update your resume with key accomplishments, skill developments and educational achievements to highlight your strengths, abilities and value. For example: “Utilized strong communication and customer service skills to close 11 strategic advertising accounts billing in excess of $100,000 annually.”

4. Use action verbs and an active voice

Begin each bullet point with an action verb to give your resume strength, power and direction. Avoid passive phrases such as “responsible for” or “duties included.” Vary your verbs and find synonyms if you find yourself using the same verbs and phrases repeatedly.

5. Use quantitative facts and figures

Use percentages, dollar amounts and numbers to quantify your accomplishments. For example, ask yourself, “How many clients did I serve?”, “How much did I increase efficiency?” or “How much did I grow a business?”

As you complete projects or something significant happens in your job or career, update your resume. Include anything that demonstrates your talents and skills. At a minimum, plan to review and refresh your resume at least once a year.

If you need assistance, UToledo Career Services is here to help. To schedule an appointment, email careerservices@utoledo.edu or call 419.530.4341.

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