Update Your Resume

August is a great month to update your resume. With many prospective employers taking vacation this month, you can take advantage of their absence to update your resume.

Even if you’re not looking for a job, your resume should be updated periodically. Then you won’t waste time worrying about how to update your resume when contacted by a recruiter or hear of an opportunity that looks like a good fit.


Updating a resume is easy when you begin by adding projects you worked on since the resume was last updated. Employers are most interested in the last ten years of your experience because skills fade after that. So make sure you highlight those years. You might have to deemphasize earlier accomplishments to make room for new achievements under the section titled work history.

Be sure sections detailing educationprofessional development (courses taken, seminars attended, and new certifications received) are included when updating a resume.

The most important part of your resume is the summary and/or objective sections, which appear at the top of the document. The summary and objective target both your goal and the job your resume is being submitted for.

Now print out your resume and fold it in half. A prospective employer will read what’s above the fold before deciding whether to read further or to toss your resume in the circular file. So you must capture the attention of your readers in the first half of the resume. For this reason, be sure to prioritize the bulleted achievements under your most recent position. You want people to read those accomplishments first.

But don’t just update your resume once a year. You’ll find it’s easier to add new items each time you take a business course, add a certification, get another award, or have accomplished another achievement you’d like to add as a bullet.

Remember, your resume is never finished. It’s always a work in progress. Speaking of progress, you might also enjoy reading my post titled, The Quickest Way to Get a Job. 

Copyright © 2015 by Ransom Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of yourcareerservice.com. For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.