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Many professionals have a bit of downtime during the holiday season. While using some of the time to relax is wise, it’s also smart to remain productive. Updating your resume is a brilliant move. By doing so, you’ll be ready for your next job search, streamlining that process.

If you want to make the most of your downtime during the holiday season, here are five tips on how to refresh your resume.

1. Add Recent Achievements

Most professionals only update their resumes on occasion. As a result, many don’t have their most recent achievements listed in their work histories or professional summaries. Since the year is coming to a close, now is the perfect time to add those accomplishments.

Consider the challenges you’ve overcome, projects you participated in, and new responsibilities you picked up. Then, pick those that highlight your capabilities best, making sure to quantify the details.

2. Revamp Your Professional Summary

In many cases, it’s wise to refresh your professional summary on a regular basis. After all, you may have new achievements you’d like to mention, or your career goals may have changed, making the previous summary obsolete.

When you revamp your professional summary, keep the next job you want to land in mind. That way, you can include information that’s likely to appeal to hiring managers filling those roles.

3. Update Your Skills List

If you acquired new skills that align strongly with your current and target future roles, it’s time to ensure that they’re featured in your bulleted skills section. Consider which capabilities are most likely to end up in job descriptions inside of job ads, and make sure that they’re included.

One tip that’s worth using is to include every potential skill a hiring manager would want to find in your master resume. Then, when it’s time to apply for a new position, you can remove any capabilities that aren’t as relevant, allowing you to easily target the content to the role.

4. Embrace a Minimalist Design

While you’ll see plenty of resume examples featuring columns, images, colors, and a variety of fonts, using all of those elements isn’t ideal. Generally, it’s best to keep the overall look simple and clean. While columns may look attractive, an applicant tracking system (ATS) may have trouble scanning content in that format. Since that’s the case, stick with a classic page layout instead.

Also, don’t include images, charts, or infographics. An ATS typically can’t read content contained in images, so it’s better to use text only. When it comes to the font, choose a highly-readable option, like Calibri or Arial. Make sure it’s at least 12-point, as anything smaller may be harder to read.

For embellishments, use only bold and italics, and do so only sparingly. Finally, make sure there is plenty of whitespace, as that makes your resume far easier to read.

5. Remove Old or Irrelevant Information

As time passes, specific information on your resume becomes less relevant. For example, listing the oldest job on your resume may become unnecessary, particularly if you have a significant amount of time in your current field. For example, if you’ve worked in accounting for seven years, the restaurant job you held in college is potentially just taking up space.

Mentioning specific skills in your skills list isn’t always necessary either, particularly if they’re broadly held capabilities either in general or in your field. For instance, most professionals with experience don’t need to say they can use common productivity software – like Microsoft Office – unless it’s explicitly mentioned in the job ad as a must-have.

By removing old or irrelevant information, you’re giving yourself more room to focus on points that matter. Then, you’ll have an easier time providing critical details while also keeping your resume concise.

If you’d like to learn more about how to refresh your resume or are seeking out a new job opportunity, TempStaff wants to hear from you. Contact us today.


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