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How To Update Resumes The Right Way [& Mistakes To Avoid]

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No one enjoys writing resumes, but it’s an integral part of job searching. Once you land a job, you’re happy. You often don’t look at your resume again until you’re ready to go back on the job search.

However, this is a big mistake. You should update your resume as soon as something changes with your job or you gain new skills.

Because you won’t be under any pressure to make an update, resume updating means that you’ll be ready to go when you need to.

It’s not as complicated as you think, and giving your resume an updated style will catch the attention of recruiters more than anything else, guaranteeing they’ll at least see your resume and application.

What Does Updated Resume Mean?

An updated resume means you’ve reformatted and streamlined your resume for both robotic and human eyes and included any recent information on your professional livelihood, including promotions, skills, and certifications.

Your resume should include all of your recent information and a modern aesthetic to show employers you’re active and professional.

A current resume will catch the recruiter’s eyes with recent dates and accomplishments, making you a more relevant candidate.

What Is an Update Resume Format?

The top of your resume page is prime real estate, and you should include the information you want the recruiters to see there. That means essential information like contact details, experience, and skills.

These go at the top of the page, so it’s the first thing recruiters see. Additional details like hobbies, education, and other professional activities go on the bottom half of the page.

Next, bullet points. Bullet points are your friend, and you should use them wherever you can. Keep things brief, two lines or less, and use numbers to drive home your accomplishments and performance in previous positions.

Use a modern font that’s easy to read and scan, like Arial or Verdana, and use 12 pt for ordinary words and 14 to 16 pt for headings. This will give you plenty of room to write while distinguishing different headings.

If you’re unsure how exactly you want to format your resume, look up examples online and design your resume based on them.

The most important aspect of your resume formatting is that it is consistent, as inconsistent formatting signals unprofessionalism.

Why Is It Important to Update Your Resume?

When you’re contacted for your dream job at the last minute, you don’t want to be scrambling to update everything on your resume. This increases the chances of you either making a mistake or forgetting some vital information on your resume that takes you out of the running.

You should update your resume every six months or so whenever you have something to add or change, like a promotion, certification, or additional duties.

This shows the latest information and is added well before you need the resume, so it’s ready to go anytime.

1. Be Ready When Recruiters Come Looking

When you’re contacted out of the blue, you want a resume ready to give to the recruiter. That way, there won’t be any delay in the process, and you seem very accommodating to the hiring manager/recruiter.

Trying to update your resume last minute frantically will lead to mistakes, which could kill your chances of getting the job.

2. Show Off Your Most Recent Accomplishments

Companies want people who accomplish good things in their jobs, and the more recent the accomplishment, the better. More recent accomplishments are a better reflection of your skills, showing employers that you’re still at the top of your game.

3. So You Don’t Forget Important Information

If you wait months or even years to update your resume, you’ll likely forget important information you want to add.

Like that project you completed that helped customer engagement or that significant migration you accomplished that reduced paper use in the office.

Add accomplishments as you make them, along with promotions, changes in duties, and other critical professional developments.

4. Check in with Yourself and Your Career Progress

If you’re aiming for nowhere, that’s precisely where you will go. Having a career trajectory and direction can help you in every aspect of your job search.

And keeping track of your career with your resume can show employers a clear progression in your career, so they know you’re well-suited for positions.

When Should You Update Your Resume?

You should update your resume when you get a promotion, change positions, make an accomplishment, or grow your skills.

When something significant in your professional life happens, update your resume.

However, this can take a lot of work. Life often gets in the way of optimal career development.

So, instead of updating your resume every time you do something at work, aim to update your resume about every six months or at least once a year.

How Do You Write an Update on a Resume?

If you’re wondering how to update your resume, you should consider why you’re updating it.

If you haven’t even looked at your resume for several years, you’ll likely have to spend several hours whipping your resume into shape.

However, if you’ve stayed on top of your resume, you just have to add a few sentences, ensuring it’s still optimal for the current job market.

How Do You Update Your Resume After Your First Job?

Once you land your first job, it’s time to make significant changes to your resume. When a student starts applying for jobs, they add extracurriculars and other activities from school, including their GPA and other highlights.

After you get your first job, you eliminate a lot of that. Keep your education short, and move it further down the page, replacing it with your job history section. This way, you focus more on professional experience, which employers want.

How Do You Update a Resume by Email?

You can also hire resume writing services to help update your resume. You can send them the old resume and any updates you want them to add.

This method may be the best if you haven’t touched your resume for a long time.

After you receive the updated resume, you must add to it regularly, so you never have to send it in again.

How To Update Resume with Current Job

When you get a new position or job, add another bullet point to the top of your employment history section, cutting off the old post with the month and year it ended, then adding to employment history the month and year you started the new job.

It’s essential to include the correct number of job history on your resume, so only go back about 10 to 15 years. Anything before that is typically irrelevant and takes up valuable space you can use for other sections.

How Can You Update Your Resume on Mobile?

Using cloud-sharing services makes it easy to access your resume as a file. Editing it is a problem.

If you want to edit it as a PDF, it would be best to use Adobe Acrobat. You don’t have to pay for this application if you can edit the original file with Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

Once you’ve updated the document, you can change its file type to PDF, so it’s ready to send to employers.

This is helpful if you’re job hunting or want to change your resume to fit a specific role while away from your computer.

Are There Resume Update Services?

There are plenty of online resume writing services to choose from, including ones that create and update your resume.

These may be your best option if you haven’t touched your resume for several years or aren’t sure where to begin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Updating your resume is just the beginning of an effective job search, so ensure you know how to navigate the job market before putting your resume out there.

What is the best resume format to use?

It doesn’t matter as long as it’s easy to read and modern. The only important part of your formatting is its consistency throughout your resume.

What is the best resume update service?

The two top options in the market right now are TopResume and TheMuse. TopResume will do your resume, LinkedIn profile, and Cover Letter depending on your plan. Still, TheMuse will give you a one-on-one resume review with a professional who can help you craft your best resume.

Wrapping Up

Updating your resume regularly is an essential step on your career path.

You’ll always be ready in case you’re contacted, you can track progress in your career, and your updated resume will always have the most relevant information and formatting for employers.

Moreover, while it sounds complicated, it’s mostly just swapping sections, adding keywords, and optimizing your format for a modern world and ATS bots so your resume will land in front of a person.

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