Want to learn how to refresh your resume to land your next opportunity?
As mid-year approaches, it’s a great chance to refresh, reflect and re-set your goals for the year. It’s time to “Marie Kondo” more than just your closet —today we’re going to to declutter and revitalise your resume.
Just like tidying up physical spaces, refreshing your resume can bring a sense of clarity and organisation to your professional story. This gets you ready to present a polished reflection of you and your professional achievements if an exciting new opportunity arises.
Why is it important to update your resume?
Keeping your resume up to date is as essential as keeping your playlist updated with the latest tunes! Just like adding new tracks, updating your resume allows you to showcase your latest achievements, skills, and experiences, letting potential employers get a full and current picture of your employability.
By customising your resume for specific opportunities, you increase your chances of catching the hiring manager’s eye. An updated resume keeps you competitive in a dynamic job market that constantly seeks new skills to match industry advancements.
If you’re looking to change careers, a resume refresh will serve you well —it allows you to reposition your skills and highlight relevant experiences. Plus, having an updated resume on hand means you’re ready to apply for any sudden opportunities that pop up.
What are hiring managers looking for in a job application?
Hiring managers assess job applications based on specific criteria that will vary depending on specifics like the role, industry and work model. They consider relevant qualifications, skills, and professional experience that match the position. This includes educational background, certifications, and abilities necessary for success in the role.
Swag tip: An easy way to make your application stand out is by creating a Swag profile. It showcases all your employment history, certifications and qualifications at a glance –and you can take it from job to job. With a Swag profile, you can easily apply for roles in seconds, with just a few clicks. Get started today.
Hiring managers seek various personality traits and attributes depending on the role, including an achievement-oriented mindset, strong communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. They value evidence of success, such as meeting targets and driving positive outcomes. And they appreciate clear expression, active listening, effective collaboration, adaptability, and a growth mindset.
Employers will also consider if your values and work style align with the company culture. This is where it’s important to make sure your personality shines through on your application. This can include mentioning your values, hobbies and interests in your application where appropriate.
A step-by-step guide on how to refresh your resume
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 1
Review your current resume: Start by carefully examining your existing resume to identify areas that need improvement or updates. Pay close attention to outdated information that may no longer be relevant or necessary. Take note of sections that could benefit from additional detail or clarification.
During the review process, consider the overall design and layout of your resume as well. Is it visually appealing and easy to read? Does it effectively highlight your key skills and experiences? If not, it may be time to update the design of your resume to ensure it stands out in a competitive job market.
It’s important to also keep in mind if your resume is most appropriate for your industry, especially if you’re changing industries. If you’re moving from hospitality to engineering, you might want to change up the look and feel of your resume and the information it should include.
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 2
Update your contact information: Ensure that your contact information is accurate and up to date, including your phone number, email address, and professional social media profiles. You want to make sure they can get in touch with you for an interview after you wow them!
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 3
Revise your professional summary: A professional summary, also known as a career summary or profile, is a concise paragraph or bullet-point section at the beginning of a resume that provides an overview of your professional background, skills, experiences, and career goals. It serves as a snapshot of your qualifications and serves to capture the attention of hiring managers and recruiters.
Writing one well, using specific keywords for the industry and position you’re applying for, will showcase your unique value proposition to employers. Use strong action verbs and quantifiable results to demonstrate your impact. Don’t forget to keep it short and sweet!
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 4
Update your work experience: This is a big one. If you haven’t applied for a role in a while, it’s likely your experience isn’t up to date. Having all your most recent work experience listed clearly on your resume will provide hiring managers with a clear understanding of your professional journey, responsibilities, and achievements.
Include your recent positions, job responsibilities, and achievements with measurable results. Use action verbs and be specific to highlight your skills and contributions. Going above and beyond and also providing specific examples will really set you apart from other applicants.
Swag tip: Keeping your resume and work history updated is easy with a Swag candidate profile. It’s your entire work history, accreditations, certifications and more, all accessible within the Swag app. You can take it from job to job and use it to apply for roles instantly. Learn more here.
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 5
Highlight relevant skills: Identify and emphasise the skills that are most relevant to the specific job you are applying for. Include both hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (communication, leadership, etc.) to present a well-rounded profile.
You can have a dedicated skills section in your resume, however, you can go beyond this and weave your skills throughout your resume. Integrate them into your professional summary, work experience bullet points, and even in your education or achievements section when relevant.
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 6
Mention recent achievements: Add any recent achievements, certifications, training programs, or projects that demonstrate your professional growth and development.
What is “recent”? Generally, recent achievements refer to those that have occurred within the past 2-5 years. This time frame ensures that the accomplishments you include are current and relevant to your professional growth.
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 7
Include relevant keywords: Tailor your resume to include relevant keywords and phrases from the job description. This can improve the chances of passing through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and catching the attention of hiring managers.
Not only should you get keywords from the job description, you should also familiarise yourself with industry-specific terms and jargon commonly used in the field you’re applying for. Incorporating these terms demonstrates your understanding of the industry and positions you as a knowledgeable candidate.
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 8
Update education and certifications: Include any new degrees, certifications, or professional development courses you have completed since your last resume update. Be sure to mention the institution, degree/certification earned, and dates of completion.
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 9
Polish your formatting and design: Time to make it sparkle! Ensure that your resume is visually appealing and easy to read. Make sure you have a clean and professional format with consistent margins, spacing, and font styles. Divide your resume into clear sections with descriptive headings and use bullet points for readability. Incorporate white space to create a visually appealing layout and proofread diligently to eliminate errors.
Bonus tip: Before sending your resume, save it as a PDF or a widely accepted file format. This ensures that the formatting and design remain intact across different devices and operating systems.
How to Refresh your Resume: Step 10
Phone a friend: It’s always helpful to seek feedback from trusted colleagues or mentors when updating your resume. Reach out to them and ask for their perspective on your revised document. Their fresh eyes and insights can provide valuable suggestions and help you identify areas that may need improvement.
Consider their feedback and make any necessary adjustments to further enhance your resume. Once you’ve incorporated their suggestions, review and finalise your resume with confidence, knowing that you’ve received input from trusted sources.
Our best tip for impressing a hiring manager
In today’s highly competitive job market, it’s crucial to make your job application stand out among the sea of resumes that hiring managers and CV scanning technology review for each job listing.
But how can you achieve this without spending excessive time crafting individual cover letters for each application? The key lies in making a genuine connection.
People who truly stand out in job applications are those who can forge a real connection with the hiring manager or employer. It goes beyond simply showcasing your qualifications and skills on paper. Instead, it involves effectively conveying your unique personality, passion, and genuine interest in the position and company.
Swag tip: Looking to form an instant connection with a future employer? Or perhaps you want to quickly see if this job is a fit for you? Swag lets you message hiring managers and employers 1:1, directly within the Swag app. Learn more here.
By demonstrating an authentic connection and understanding of the company’s values, goals, and challenges, you can make a lasting impression that sets you apart from other applicants. Rather than solely focusing on ticking off the required qualifications, take the time to research the company and tailor your application to highlight the ways in which you can contribute to their success.
Showcasing your enthusiasm, drive, and alignment with the organisation will help you stand out to hiring managers and potential employers. By putting in the effort to establish a genuine connection through your application, you demonstrate your ability to go beyond the surface level and create a lasting impression.
Apply easily and track your job applications with Swag
Now you’ve refreshed your resume, it’s time to tackle your cover letter. Thankfully, Swag harnesses the power of AI to write engaging cover letters that will get you noticed by hiring managers. All you need to do is write a few prompts and keywords, and Swag does the rest.
Creating a Swag profile is another way to get noticed by hiring managers. It’s a single source of truth for all your employment information, and you can take it from job to job. And with the Swag app, it’s easy to track and follow up on applications, talk to hiring managers 1:1 with real-time messaging, and stay updated on your application at each stage of the hiring journey. The best bit? Swag is totally free to download and use.
Now is the perfect time to declutter and revitalise your resume. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure your resume stands out and increases your chances of success in the job market. A refreshed resume is crucial for career changes, seizing unexpected opportunities, boosting confidence, and encouraging self-evaluation. Best of luck!
The information in this article is current as at July 2023, and has been prepared by Employment Hero Pty Ltd (ABN 11 160 047 709) and its related bodies corporate (Employment Hero) for its Swag brand. The views expressed in this article are general information provided in good faith to assist job seekers in the current market, and should not be relied on as professional advice. Some Information is based on data supplied by third parties and whilst such data is believed to be accurate, it has not been independently verified and no warranties are given that it is complete, accurate, up to date or fit for the purpose for which it is required. Employment Hero does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such data and is not liable for any loss or damages arising directly or indirectly as a result of reliance on, use of or inability to use any information provided in this article. You should undertake your own research and seek professional advice before making any important career decisions or solely relying on the information in this article.
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