It’s Time to Dust the Old Skeletons Off Your Resume

Here’s the truth of the job seeker world; hiring managers judge you by your resume. That makes this one or two page summary of your skills very important if you stand any chance at all of getting the first interview. While your current job may be working out fine, it’s never a bad idea to periodically revisit this document, dust it off, and make it fresh again.

But what should you refresh? How will you know when it’s time to remove an old job? Should you keep your educational history? Here are some suggestions for keeping your resume fresh and current – just in case.


Best Time for a Resume Update


A recent Monster poll shows that 8% of Americans don’t remember the last time they updated their resume. Think about how often you learn new things at work, take classes, or maybe update your skills in some other way. If you try to go back five years ago to update your resume would you even remember all the things you learned? That’s why it’ important to update the document at least every year, if not every six months. The monster poll showed about 40% of respondents let their resumes collect dust after they find a job they like.

The Motley Fool says that’s a bad approach. They suggest instead that every milestone in your work life should prompt a resume update. Take time to refresh your CV when you:

  • Get promoted.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Complete a big project.
  • Achieve credentials.

While these are all good milestones to document on your resume, what other polishing techniques should you consider?


Spit Shining Your Resume


If you’re adding a resume bullet you might as well give it a thorough spring cleaning. Think about your resume as if you’ve never seen it before. How will it look to a stranger? Does it put your best skills, tasks, and accomplishments on the front burner? Lead with each section with your strongest characteristics and skills. Since recruiters and hiring managers will look quickly at the top of each section, try to grab them and drag the eye downward.


Is the style of each section consistent? For example, if you use italics for job titles make sure this carries across the entire resume. Do the font sizes align properly between sections?


Remove old jobs; you usually don’t need more than ten to fifteen years experience on your resume. Skip listing the year you graduated from college. You also don’t need to list your objective; if a recruiter sees your resume, they already know you’re seeking a new job.


Finally, eliminate any unnecessary words to shorten the document. Use a clean, clear font, like Georgia or Helvetica and keep your margins at an inch or so. When you’ve perfected all these steps, then share your resume with a colleague and get their feedback. Having an extra set of eyes on the document will help you spot things you may have missed. The team at Twin City is standing by to review your resume. Contact us for advice on how to make your resume sparkle.