Of the many important documents that will make or break your job search, the resume is the most important of all. While it may be enough to come up with a winning resume, you should realize that your resume is still a work in progress.

Knowing the importance of reviewing and keeping it updated will help you stay on top of the job search game. However, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to update your resume just because you’re not on the market for a new opportunity.

The job search market is a very competitive environment where only the most unique individuals stand out.

If you’re still using the same resume you used three years ago to apply for jobs last year, you’re in big trouble. No wonder you’re not getting any phone calls to interview.

So how do you keep your resume fresh and give it that much needed face-lift of sorts to attract more attention?

Here are a few tips you can use to give your resume a new look:

  • 1. Replace your objective statement with a value proposition.

As the times change, resume writing styles change. What once was the objective statement is now considered obsolete. Since they don’t exist anymore, you should create a value proposition.

Try to look for the current terminologies used in your area of specialization to come up with an attention-grabbing branding statement. Your unique value proposition should communicate your career goals to the reader.

Employers can’t resist calling candidates who can articulate real value in a short paragraph.

  • 2. Review old entries in your resume.

There are entries in your resume that may not be relevant anymore so you should remove these.

For example, outdated technical skills or even old jobs from a few decades ago need to be removed and replaced with newer and more relevant entries. Also, don’t go past 10 years of experience unless it’s relevant for your targeted job.

  • 3. Add new skills, accomplishments, certifications, job responsibilities and positions you’ve acquired.

Make a list of all the significant changes that have happened in your professional career during the past year. Pick items that are significant and important to further your professional goals and include them in your resume.

Even if you are still in the same position as last year, I’m sure you’ve acquired some new skills or accountabilities so make sure you include these.

  • 4. Use updated keywords.

Keywords are like triggers for hiring managers and prospective employers to read your resume and consider you for the position. Different areas of specialization have different sets of keywords and terminologies.

It is your responsibility to be informed of the latest keywords used in your industry and to use these keywords when you update your resume. Make sure you precisely incorporate these into your resume. Use a thesaurus to add synonyms and antonyms if you can’t come up with the right word.

  • 5. Tweak your resume format.

If you feel that the format of your resume is a little outdated, you might want to tweak it. As per experience, you don’t have to necessarily change the whole format but you can make some alterations to better present the resume’s information.

The most important and relevant information is found in the top one-third of the first page and in the bottom one-third of the last page.

  • 6. Proofread your resume: Use spell-check (F7 key)

The first time you wrote your resume, you have been advised to proofread it. Once again, after you have made all the necessary corrections and did all the revisions and updates, you still need to proofread it again.

You might be surprised to see that you’ve missed some errors the first time you proofread your resume. To make sure you did not skip any entries and you’ve covered all the areas that need editing, you may have to check your resume once, twice or even three times.

Always remember that even spelling and typographical errors can greatly influence the decision of the hiring manager to consider scheduling you for an interview.

An updated resume will not only give you the edge over other applicants but it also focuses your perspective on the areas you have excelled and those that need to be improved. You never know when opportunities come knocking at your door so it pays to be ready always.

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