Tips on updating your resume

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Q: I have not updated my resume in almost 10 years.  I know resumes have changed.  What are some of your top resume tips to make sure that my resume gets looked at in the year 2019?

A: Happy to help.  Here are some tips:

  1. Make it a thing of beauty. Avoid micro fonts and “wedding invitation” type fonts. Use an easy-to-read font.  Clear, concise and professional is how you want your resume to be described.
  2. Consider using a summary (vs. an objective). Embed key words in your summary.
  3. Key words – use them! Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS), which are often scanning for key words.
  4. A resume is like an advertisement. Provide highlights.  Don’t share every detail of what you did every day of your work life.  Streamline and showcase your significant accomplishments and achievements.  What did you contribute?  How did you add value?
  5. Numbers are persuasive. Include them.  Did you close five major deals in the last year?  Did you oversee 12 different programs?  Did you save your last employer $200K?
  6. Update your LinkedIn profile. Add a recent photo.  Include a LinkedIn URL to your resume at the top, where your contact information is located.  You can customize your LinkedIn URL. It takes few minutes to customize your LinkedIn URL, but it is worth it.
  7. Be truthful. A few years of college is usually not the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.  Don’t embellish.
  8. Look at the top third of the first page of your resume. Does it read beautifully and tell a story of who you are and why you should be hired?
  9. Avoid inappropriate email addresses. Say no to [email protected] and [email protected].
  10. Ask a trusted friend to proof your resume. Sometimes we don’t catch our own mistakes.   There are a lot of “mangers” in resumes, when it should be “manager.”
  11. Though not a resume question, it is related to job hunting. Google your name.  Clean up any social media accounts that you may have.  You want them all to appear PG-13 or cleaner.  Avoid photos or posts that could be perceived as controversial.
  12. Re-think any roles or organizations that could touch upon controversial subjects. Generally, sex, politics and religion are off-limits and should be removed from a resume.

Finally, review your resume every year.  I edit mine every January to ensure it accurately reflects how I want to present my skills.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.

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