Tips For Updating Your Resume

When was the last time you updated your resume?

Update Your Resume Month — which spans the month of September — is a significant reminder of the importance of keeping your resume up to date and accurate. In honor of the event, here are some resume tips to keep in mind:

What To Include And What To Omit? Hiring managers are looking for a clear, full, chronological picture of your career. Within reason, don’t leave off any full-time employment since the time you graduated college, no matter what your age. Anything that’s part of your professional career that’s full-time employment should be on the resume. Include each individual job title you’ve held — whether within the same company or at different companies — and explain your principal responsibilities. List both the month and year you started and left each position/company, along with a brief description of what that company does.

In addition, don’t shy away from including volunteer experience, board experience, and educational accomplishments — even if they’re not degrees — on a resume. Hiring managers are looking to hire a person, not a resume, and these experiences are a part of who you are.

Personal hobbies — like horseback riding, gardening, running, etc. — can also be included, though they aren’t necessary. However, you should never add personal information beyond a one-line blurb about personal interests. Sharing personal information about details such as marital status, children, religion, race, national origin, and so forth has a much higher likelihood of being harmful rather than helpful. Plus, it’s nobody’s business, so keep this information off a resume.

Customize The Document. Take into account where you’re applying and which job you’re applying for, and highlight your most pertinent accomplishments in a customized resume. Create the document in such a way that it brings the most applicable experience to the fore.

Pay Attention To Format. No matter how long you’ve been working, you should be able to fit your resume on three pages or less. Hiring managers will not read more than that.

Note, too, that simplicity is a virtue when it comes to resume design. Highlight accomplishments and experiences with bullet points. Use an easy-to-read typeface, and leave plenty of white space on the page.

Be Honest. One final note: Never ever falsify information on your resume. Your credibility will be in great danger if you’re discovered, which you will be. You’ll lead hiring managers to wonder, “Why did they hide information? Were they simply streamlining resume? Or are they deceiving me?” If hiring managers wonder if they can trust you, you don’t stand a chance in landing the position you’re seeking.

Collin L. Sprau, Partner
About Collin L. Sprau, Partner

Collin recruits senior executives across a wide variety of industries with an emphasis on technology officers and their direct reports in mid-cap and large industrial companies.

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