Even if you’re not actively searching for a job, it’s important to keep your resume fresh to present the best version of yourself professionally. Especially if you make your resume public via LinkedIn or another avenue, it can attract new opportunities and connections, making it worth it to revamp your resume periodically.
Ready to upgrade your resume? Keep reading to learn the key steps you can take.
1. Write an Objective or Summary
A resume objective or summary is a short description of who you are, what you have to offer and what your career goals are. Typically, this is one or two sentences; you can get into more detail in the rest of the document. For example, your summary might say, “I am an experienced marketing coordinator skilled in SEO. Searching for marketing roles in the Denver area.” Adding this information to your resume acts as a personal introduction to the person reading it, which can make your resume feel more warm and friendly.
2. Add a Skills List
If you don’t have one already, consider adding a list of your top skills. Near the bottom of the document, create a bulleted list of four or five skills. Not sure what to add? Research the in-demand skills in your industry. For example, if you work in marketing, you might add soft skills like communication and organization as well as hard skills like Excel and Google Analytics.
3. Improve Your Resume With Keywords
Resume keywords are popular words searched by people in your industry. Especially if you’re searching for a job, adding keywords can help you ensure that recruiters can find your resume in a virtual pile of others. For example, if you’re applying for a role as a social media marketer, a resume keyword might be “social media marketing.” Try to naturally integrate this keyword somewhere in your resume, whether in a job description or in your skills list. You can find resume keywords by searching “resume keywords [job title]” in a search engine.
4. Incorporate Metrics
Incorporating metrics is one of the most impactful things you can do to revamp your resume. Anytime you can think of a number to highlight an accomplishment, be sure to include it. For example, in one line on your resume, you might say, “Increased social media engagement by 25%.” Adding a metric adds credibility and shows exactly what results you achieved.
5. Start With Action Verbs
To improve your resume’s readability, remember to use action verbs. Action verbs are powerful words that clearly communicate a specific action — achieved, pioneered, cultivated, transformed, generated. These words carry more impact than generic terms like “took part” or “participated in” by expressing exactly what you did.
As you revamp your resume, make sure each line under each job description starts with one of these action verbs. For example, one line might say, “Pioneered a new, streamlined social media campaign management process.”
6. Think About Your Industry or Role
When you’re designing your resume, consider your industry and role. Is it common in your industry to have a colorful resume with images, or is it more standard to focus on text? If you work in graphic design, you might choose a bold design with visual components. If you’re applying for a job at a traditional workplace, you might want to opt for black-and-white text. Ultimately, design decisions are up to you, but it can be helpful to look at other resumes in your industry and use them as guides.
7. Keep Design Consistent
Whichever design you choose for your resume, make sure it’s consistent. Use headings, subheadings and body text, and keep the fonts and sizes the same throughout the document. Choose whether to end each bullet point with a period or not, and then stick to it. This can help you ensure your resume looks professional and polished.
8. Proofread and Review
The last step of revamping your resume is to proofread and review it. Edit the document line-by-line to catch any typos or inconsistencies. Make sure you’re using metrics and action verbs. If you’d like, you can also ask a mentor to review your resume and give feedback — another set of eyes can find errors you missed and help your resume presents the best version of you.