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Simple Resume Changes That Make a Big Difference

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Edit your resume

Summary: Use these tips to update and change your resume in little to no time to make it shine and stand out to future employers.

Your resume will need to be changed and updated before you start applying for a new job. Updating your resume once a year isn’t a bad idea either. Here are some tips that you can do in less than two minutes, less than five minutes, and others that may take a little more time.

Super Quick Fixes:

– Change the font to Arial, Times New Roman, or even Helvetica

– Remove “References Available Upon Request”

– Remove the career objective

– Spell check

– Save your resume in a PDF format

– Change the file name you save it as to “[First Name] [Last Name] Resume”

– Delete your address

– Include your URL for LinkedIn and other social sites if you are applying for a social media or creative position in the place where you had your address

– Change your LinkedIn URL to a custom one, preferably just your name

– Make your hyperlinks live

– Leave out references to your religion, marital status, and even birthday

– If you have been out of college for over three years, remove your graduation year

– Move the education section on your resume farther down

– Increase line spacing to at least 120% of the font size (so 12 if your font is size 10)

– Reduce your top, bottom, and side margins to give you extra space

Quick Fixes:

– Remove high school related items unless you are just out of college and need highly relevant things to bulk up your resume

– Update your skills section

– Group skills together in like categories if you have a lot that are relevant to the job

– Double check the formatting to make it consistent

– Replace acronyms with the full title, certification, or organization

– Remove any photos or visual elements unless your applying for a creative position

– If you have employment gaps of just a few months, switch out months and just include the years you were employed at each job, such as 2010-2012

– Replace boring verbs with more powerful ones

– Swap out boring adjectives or titles with stronger language that appropriately describes your unique strengths such as removing “detail-oriented.”

– List multiple positions with the same organization correctly

– Only use the most recent 10-15 years of history of relevant positions

– Change things so orphan words (those left on a line by themselves) can fit on the previous line

– Add divider lines between sections

– Change numbers to numerical form instead written out

– Read your resume out loud

Fixes That Take More Time

– Make sure the items above the fold or the top third of your resume stand out and make a great first impression

– Only have 6-7 bullet points max per position

– Have someone that doesn’t know you well glance over your resume to find what is memorable, what doesn’t work, etc.

– Put your resume into a word cloud generator to see what keywords pop out

– Add as many numbers and percentages as you can to your bullet points

– Select a few statements to include what the benefit was to your boss or company

– Consider adding a qualifications section in the place where the career objective was with bullet points of your achievements, major skills, and important experiences

– Make your resume header pop

– Add volunteer work if you need to fill up more space or strengthen your experience section

– Make every bullet point understandable for the average person

– Update your experiences, adding any awards, new skills, articles that have been published, etc.

– Update your LinkedIn profile to match your updated resume

– Find three friends or professional contacts to look over your resume


Simple Resume Changes That Make a Big Difference by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin