The Most Important Resume Updates You Can Make

UpdateWe’re once again revisiting International Update your Resume Month, which took place in September. If you didn’t make the time in September to update your resume, then it’s time. You’ll want to get this out of the way before the holidays are upon you and it’s suddenly the New Year! While you’re at it, make these important updates your priority.

Tell the truthUpdateResumeMonth

You’re updating your resume and realize you don’t quite match the requirements on the job description for your Dream Job. What do you do?

According to Cierra Ford at Backgroundchecks.org, more than half of jobseekers would embellish their skillsets or responsibilities.


If you believe a little fib on a resume doesn’t hurt anyone, read this article on the legal consequences of resume lies.

If you believe only people in junior positions are caught in resume falsehoods, read this article about senior executives who lied on their resumes.

Be Transparent

Closely aligned with resume truth is transparency, the things that make you — you. Those things are important for an employer to hear about so they can determine whether you are a good fit for their team. It means being yourself, not who you think they want.

Think of your soft skills and personality traits that support your efforts at work. If you have difficulty deciding which character traits to include in your resume, take one of the assessments offered online. DISC is good, as is Strengthfinder 2.0.

Align your resume and target

Many people request a new resume before they decide on the type of job they want to land. This is like going target shooting before you set up the target. You can shoot a lot of rounds, but you?re not going to hit anything important.

Most people in this predicament believe they need to keep all their options open so they don’t miss any opportunities. That makes sense. Except it doesn’t work that way. It sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but your best chance of landing a job comes with a focused target.

Give evidence of your accomplishments

One of the best updates you can give your resume is incorporating evidence of your accomplishments.

Most people just list their duties and responsibilities, hoping an employer will understand their potential. The trouble is, that doesn’t happen.

If your resume is full of duties and responsibilities, read one and ask yourself, “Then what happened?” Your answer will be an accomplishment.

Then, ask “How much?” to quantify your accomplishment for emphasis.

Be selective with your information

I love working with people in technical fields. We understand each other’s concern for being precise and getting things right.

The thing that can hang up detail-oriented people who try to write resumes is, of course, the details.

I have seen 10-page resumes that include every project in every position the candidate ever held. It’s amazing information, and an employer is going to pass on it. They don’t have time.

The converse happens, as well. A recent client with 20+ years of experience had heard that a resume must be only one page long. By the time he squeezed five senior positions onto the page, they were so generic that an employer couldn’t tell anything significant about him.

Instead, tell the story of three major accomplishments in your most recent position and one each for earlier jobs.

Following these hints for updating your resume will help you offer your prospective employer information that will differentiate you from other candidates and help you land the interview.

Update image courtesy Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net

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