8 Tips for Updating Your Resume

A pencil eraser removing a written mistake on a piece of paper.

To keep your resume fresh and current, you should update it frequently. Scheduling a yearly cleanup is a great idea. Job search trends are always changing as are your skills. You need to set aside some time to keep up. When you apply to jobs today, your resume is scanned quickly by either a recruiter, a hiring manager or an applicant tracking system (aka robot).  Because of this, your resume needs to be both robot-friendly and human-friendly.  We know that you are much more than the words on your resume. Follow these resume updating tips to make sure the hiring manager actually gets to meet you.

Resume Updating Tips:

1. Organize: chronological order with the most recent job at the top.
2. Dust: Dust off your resume by tailoring it to each job. Use the key words found in the job description to describe your skills.
3. Declutter: Only use standard fonts such as Calibri, Ariel, or Verdana. Fonts with script or curls are difficult to read and fonts like Comic Sans appear childish.
4. Tidy: Be sure to spell check and proof read. One typo can put your resume in the rejection pile. Read your resume forward and backwards multiple times before sending.
5. Keep What Works: Don’t limit yourself to one page. Thanks to electronics, resumes have gotten longer. This allows you to include more important keywords.
6. Eliminate Distractions: Don’t use fancy formatting or tables. Some applicant tracking systems will not be able to read information if there is too much formatting.
7. Polish Your Grammar: Don’t use abbreviations. Instead, spell out all words so that they are not missed by the robot.
8. Simplify: Don’t use graphics, images or logos unless you are applying to a creative role. Don’t use headers or footers because some applicant tracking systems cannot read the information in these areas.

Follow these tips to ensure that your resume is both robot-friendly and human-friendly.  This will increase your chances of moving on to the next step – interviewing.


Kathy Lin - Tal HealthcareWritten by:
Kathy Lin, Marketing Communications Manager
Kathy writes content for Tal Healthcare, a healthcare career website. She has a background in recruiting, sales, and teaching.  She holds a BA in Biology from the University of Vermont.  When she isn’t writing you can find her outside running, skiing or biking.