A new job search causes anxiety. A layoff can come with little warning just as a new opportunity can present itself with little time to waste. Whether you are stunned by an unexpected job search or preparing to enter the job market, you need to have an updated resume ready at a moment's notice.
Resume writing tends to be an anxious process for job seekers as well, but it doesn't have to be. We're sharing how to update your resume quickly and get back to making that paycheck.
1. Evaluate Your Recent Experiences
Employers hold the greatest weight on your last 10-15 years of experience. Before updating your resume, you should assess your last few years and what experiences have added to the value you offer including:
- New work history
- Degrees or certifications earned
- Job-related training received
- New skills acquired
2. Take A Skills Inventory
List your skills and strengths in a skills inventory. Group you skills together into sets such as Job-Related Skills and Soft Skills, People Skills and Functional Skills, or Management and Sales. Once you've updated your skills inventory, you will have a tool to help target your resume for other job opportunities as they present themselves.
3. Identify What Your Job Target Is
Unless you have a specific opportunity that you are pursuing in your job search, you could spend countless wasted hours in a job search applying for anything and everything. Identifying what you want in a new job is crucial in accelerating your job search. When choosing a job target you should consider:
- What are you qualified to do?
- What are your values and passions?
- What environment do you thrive the most in?
- How much responsibility are you looking for?
4. Update Your Experience Section
Add your new work history by summarizing your job description and primary goals and then highlighting your skills in action and accomplishments in a bullet list. Keep your information results-oriented and focus on describing how you solved problems.
When updating your Experience section, it's important to adjust your verb tenses. You newly added work history should have present tense verbs because you are currently in that role. If you are no longer working with an employer, that specific job summary section should have past tense verbs.
5. Add Your Earned Degrees or Certificates
When updating your Education section, keep your earned degrees listed in reverse chronological order with the most recently earned degree listed first. Typically employers will hold the most weight on your most recently earned degree. When you earn your Bachelor's degree, your Associate's degree loses its value. For this reason, you should list only the most relevant and impactful degrees or certificates for your job target.
6. Adjust Your Key Skills Section
Often new skills are acquired with new experiences. You should adjust your Key Skills section accordingly. Depending on your job target, your skills should almost always be adjusted to fit the needs of a new employer.
7. Refresh Your Branding Statement
As stated before, your resume should be tailored to each job target. This is especially true for your Branding Statement or Career Summary. When you have identified your job target, take special care to make sure your Branding Statement describes what need you fulfill or problem you solve. Highlight any newly acquired skills that directly influence the value you offer.
8. Double-check Your Contact Information
Name changes and new phone numbers are the final touches to updating your resume. Make sure your contact information, by far the most important details on your resume, are updated and accurate.
9. Proofread Your Updated Resume
Do not submit your resume to a new job opportunity without proofreading, editing, and repeating. Typos are an embarrassment. Inconsistency in design and word usage is a devastating downfall. Have another trusted friend or colleague look over your resume as well. Another set of eyes may improve your chances of securing interviews quickly.
10. Get Your Match Rate from Jobscan
Optimize your resume keywords against each job description with Jobscan! This tool is a lifesaver for job seekers - just paste the text from your resume in one field and the text from the job description in the other field to get your Match Rate. Our readers can get five free scans here.
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