How to Update Your Resume to Reflect Industry Standards

Published on: 10 November 2020 Last updated: 10 November 2020

I bet you are bored out of your mind by reading 25 similar articles about how you should update your resume. That’s why we sat down at the Enhancv headquarters, put our thinking hats, and set out to craft a guide on how to update your resume that’s, in fact, helpful.

Not only that, we tell you everything you need to know about the topic and then some.

And forget about updating your resume every six months. No one has time for that. I mean, we even created a tool that can help you store your resume and edit it only when you need to. We’ve been doing pretty well so far.

But enough chit-chatting.

Let’s get down to business. And by “business”, we mean sharing some knowledge about how you can update your resume to get that much-wanted job.

We’ll go over:

  • How you can update your resume quickly;
  • What to update in order to make your resume feel like it’s out of 2021;
  • Why your LinkedIn resume should also be up to date;
  • And, how to update your resume based on your experience.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get this show started.

How to update your resume in less than one hour?

Enhancv How to Update Your Resume to Reflect Industry Standards

Time is money, and not all of us can afford to spend hours picking the right font for our resume. So, before we go really in-depth on how you should freshen up your resume, we’ll give you a quick and easy way. In fact, you can do it in less than an hour.

Here’s how to update your resume in less than one hour (some top-secret chops):

1. Use a resume builder if possible

Transfer your existing resume to a resume builder. A tool like Enhancv can help you quickly edit different parts of your resume saving you time tweaking the formatting. On top of that, you’re getting a modern resume, which arguably is the best looking one of all applications.

2. Update your work history

Haven’t touched your resume in more than five years? Don’t worry, most of us haven’t. Start by updating your work experience section. Begin with your most recent job and make your way down the list.

3. Update your contact information

It’s very important to update your contact information. This section of your resume isn’t exactly the main focal point, so there’s a big chance you miss it. Make sure you’ve listed your current email address and phone number.

4. Proofread your resume

Yep, it doesn’t matter how good at writing you are, typos are bound to happen, so spend five minutes and proofread your resume before saving. Use this opportunity to update your skills section if you’ve gained some new chops.

5. Save your resume properly

You spent a whole hour tweaking your resume, it would be a shame if you miss your chance because you didn’t properly save your resume. Always save as PDF. ATS can easily read through a PDF resume, and you can be sure it can’t be edited by someone else. (More on that topic in a minute, so keep reading.)

And before transferring your resume, you can pick one of the 530+ resume examples we’ve made for you. No matter the industry, you’re getting a modern resume update for industry standards.

Enhancv How to Update Your Resume to Reflect Industry Standards

 

 

How to update your resume (the long way).

While the step guide we shared above will get you a decent looking resume, at Enhancv we’re always about making your resume that extra bit better. After all, you want to get a call back from them, don’t you?

We’ll focus on explaining how to update each section of your resume to make it memorable. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s start.

Decide if your current resume outline works well for you.

There’s more than one resume outline? Well, you bet there is. In fact, there are three main resume layouts that you can choose from. We’ll go over each one of them right now.

The Chronological resume outline.

You’re probably using a chronological, or reverse-chronological, resume outline right now. It’s the most common type of outline used.

Simply said, a reverse chronological resume is when you list your most recent job at the top, and you make your way down your experience with your first job listed last.

When you’re updating your resume, it’s the perfect time to ask yourself if that’s the best way to showcase your experience to recruiters.

A reverse-chronological resume is best if you’ve worked at big companies, and you want to leverage your experience there.

We went really in-depth on the topic of the reverse-chronological order resume and how you can use it to your advantage. You can read the full article right here.

The Functional resume outline.

When you’re using a functional resume outline, you’re basically placing your most relevant skills and experience at the top.

What makes the functional resume really powerful is the fact that you serve the most important piece of information to the recruiter without making them search for it. If you’re applying for a particular job that you really want, it’s best to go with the functional layout.

The Hybrid resume outline.

Possibly the resume with the coolest sounding name, the hybrid resume combines key elements from both the functional and chronological outlines.

It utilizes both core components of each outline, which ultimately allows you to focus on your skills and employment history at the same time.

You can dive down the rabbit hole of hybrid resumes and really understand how to utilize this outline in the detailed article we recently published.

Remove everything that isn’t important for the job you’re applying for.

If you’re 18 and you’re looking for your first job, you can skip this part. But if you’ve been in the workforce for four years and up, it’s a bit more complicated. Mostly, you have to decide what to keep and what to skip.

Well, there’s a rule of thumb that you should combine or remove any experience older than 15 years. In most cases, it’s just not relevant anymore.

We advise you to omit everything that isn’t related to the position you’re applying for. Like, if you’re applying for a physician opening at a hospital, you can be pretty sure that your summer job back in 94′ won’t be of any relevance to the recruiters.

The key is to keep your skills and positions relevant to the place you’re applying to. If you aren’t sure what skills they’re looking for, go over the job ad one more time and if possible, visit their website.

And if you still aren’t 100% sure about what to cut off, we’ve prepared resume templates for you to choose from, no matter the industry you’re in. That way you won’t have to second guess what to include and what to skip.

Focus on making the skills section on your resume stand out.

Okay, but how? It’s easier said than done.

When you’re writing your skills section on the resume there are a few things that you have to keep in mind. The first one is that you can always add more skills. If the skill section in your resume is getting too big, then consider making a separate skill-only resume.

The second thing that you have to keep in mind when crafting your resume’s skills section is to keep it relevant to the job position you’re applying to. By focusing on only what’s important, you can keep your resume on a single page, and you’ll be super specific (something that ATS likes).

Use the right keywords for the job you’re applying to.

When you’re crafting your resume, you want to use the right keywords. See, most companies use ATS. What’s an ATS you ask? The abbreviation stands for Applicant Tracking System, and it’s basically a software that stores all job applications, allowing recruiters to search and sift through thousands of resumes in a matter of seconds.

And here’s where using the right keywords comes into play. For example, if you’re applying for an Administrative Assistant position, you want to include that in your resume. You can include it in the header as well—that way, when the recruiter types “Administrative Assistant” your resume will appear.

But you’re still not done. You want something that will get their attention. Make sure you put some extra effort into crafting the header section of your resume. That way, you have a bigger chance to not only get noticed but be remembered by the recruiter.

If you’re not sure what keywords to use, just go to the job ad and try to pinpoint the phrases that stick out most and then use them while you write your resume.

Write a punchy summary that grabs the attention.

Okay, you’re nearly halfway there. You’ve almost updated your resume to the point of perfection (i.e. it’s almost ready for the recruiters to see). Now, you should focus on crafting a short, punchy summary section.

Every strong resume summary highlights your experience, knowledge, and accomplishments. The tricky part is that you have only a few sentences to do it.

Make sure you include keywords from early on and point out the highlights of your resume in the summary section. If you’re having a hard time crafting a powerful summary, you can check out our guide on the matter. We go pretty in-depth.

Update the “Training & Certification” section.

Last on the list is to update the training and certification section on your resume. There’s a huge chance that you’ve gained new skills since you last updated your resume and you want to showcase this to the recruiters.

Focus on showing only what’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. While attending a pottery class is cool, it won’t be of interest to most recruiters. Focus on listing only trainings and certificates.

Updating your resume based on your experience.

Enhancv How to Update Your Resume to Reflect Industry Standards

We covered all of the most important sections that you have to freshen up when you’re updating your resume. But, as with everything we do at Enhancv, we have to go a step further.

And by step further, we mean, we want to share with you how you should update your resume based on your experience. Namely, how far back you should go in your resume, what to feature when you have two decades of experience, and how to structure your resume if you’re applying for your first job.

How to update your resume if you have three to five years of experience?

It’s important to note that if you have between three to five years of experience in your previous job, you can easily create a pretty powerful resume.

You can push down your education, and instead, try to show how you helped the company you worked for finish a project or deal with a problem or how you trained a new employee.

Moreover, showing your decision-making capabilities and leadership skills will be far more interesting to recruiters.

How to update your resume if you have five to 10 years of experience?

When you’ve been in the workforce for nearly a decade, you have to approach the resume updating process a bit differently. Namely, you want to show to recruiters only what’s immediately important to them.

Namely, you want to show your leadership skills. So, things like helping the company save money and someone that you managed getting promoted and even creating trainings and processes that improved the work process are amazing accomplishments to feature on your resume.

Also, now is the chance to let your skills and training, and certificates shine. You can shorten your formal education section and work on presenting how your experience, work, and networking has taught you to be better at what you do.

How to update your resume if you have 12+ years of experience?

Working somewhere for 12 years or more means that you’re most likely in the management or even C-level force of a company. This means you have to put your writing chops to work and craft a summary that captures the attention of recruiters.

Some of the things you have to list and are a must if you want to stand out are the relationships you’ve built with other companies, the strategic planning you’ve done, and most importantly, you have to update the tone of voice on your resume. When you’re applying for a position that’s in C-level management, make sure your resume reads professionally.

Updating your LinkedIn resume to match.

“What? I should update my LinkedIn resume as well?” Yes, you should.

In 2020 we’re living in the digital age. Top that with the major changes LinkedIn has been making the last four or five months, and you can see how this social media can play a crucial role in you getting hired.

Sometimes the hiring process isn’t as straightforward. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and company leadership can outreach you if they like what you’re doing. That’s why it’s best to have an up to date LinkedIn account.

You can start by quickly updating the experience section of your account. It’s best to keep it similar to what’s on your resume. And if you want to supercharge your account for recruiters, you can upload your Enhancv-made resume as a PDF to your LinkedIn account. It’s so good even Mark Cuban loves it.

How to update your Indeed resume?

Now that you’ve put all this hard work into updating your resume, it’s super important to remember to upload and update your resume on Indeed as well.

All you have to do is to log into your account, go to the “Resume” tab and click the “Upload Resume” button. It’s as easy as that. 🙂

How often should you update your resume?

Most guides share that you should update your resume every 6 months. While we do think that’s the best way to include the most up to date information if you’re working on your career, updating your resume isn’t something that’s on your radar.

So, as experts, we would advise you to update your resume only when you want to apply for a certain position. This will allow you to craft a resume that’s targeted and relevant, thus increasing your chance to get an interview.

What’s the best design for a resume in 2020?

It’s no secret that companies, especially the businesses in the marketing and creative industries, are looking for better looking, original resumes.

If you’re applying for a creative position, then definitely focus on crafting a portfolio that grabs the attention. You can use a regular resume to support your portfolio.

For those of us who aren’t in the creative field, the best thing you can do is use a resume builder like Enhancv. You get a good looking resume without needing any design skills whatsoever.

Conclusion

Updating your resume is a process that requires your full attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing quick spruce up or you’re updating your resume from the ground up.

Focus on updating your resume to fit specifically the position you’re looking to apply to. It’s the best way to ensure you’re getting an interview. And finally, focus on using the right keywords for each job you apply to and adjusting your skills accordingly.

Kal Dimitrov

Kal has 10 years of experience as a marketer and lecturer in youth leader organisations, with a focus on career and job skills enhancement. He has written and edited over 100 resume creation guides for different jobs. Kal is also a co-founder of a career accelerator hub that helps students and recent graduates excel at job interviews and get the job of their dreams.

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