When was the last time you updated your resume? In the working world, it’s easy to let this kind of thing fall by the wayside. But when it comes time to apply to new jobs, you’ll want to have the best version of your resume ready to go in order to make the best impression on potential employers.
Here are three tips for giving your outdated resume a fresh look:
Highlight the Right Experience
Here’s an important tip to remember: your resume is not a legal document, it’s a marketing document. That means that you don’t have to include every single thing you’ve done professionally over your entire career. In fact, that will almost certainly make things too crowded. Instead, market yourself well by highlighting the appropriate experience for your current goals or the exact type of job you’ll be applying for. It makes things much more concise and manageable from the recruiter or employer’s point of view.
Include Experiences Outside of Traditional Job Structures
Your resume doesn’t just have to include the roles you’ve had with big companies. Often, including volunteer experience, contracting positions, or even personal projects is a great boost to your resume. Be sure to make clear the specific impact that these efforts had — money raised, money saved, customers helped, new skills learned, etc. — so that those reading your resume know precisely how your work benefited others or yourself. Listing these kinds of things on your resume also makes for great talking points once you’ve secured an interview.
Don’t Try to Fill in Gaps
If your resume is outdated and you’re trying to make it current again, it can be tempting to fill in gaps where you were unemployed or trying out other career paths. It’s best not to do this. If recruiters or hiring managers ask about your job dates and you get caught in a lie, you’ve sunk your chances of getting the job. Honesty is the best policy — if you had a gap in which you were working on other fields or were out of work entirely, simply explain the reasons and tell the interviewer what you did in that time to advance your skills or improve your circumstances.