Refreshing Your Professional Profile: Guide to Updating Your Resume


There, somewhere deep in the D drive, under a pile of other documents and files, rests a dusted e-paper faded with time. That can be your resume. In fact, nearly 8% of people can’t recall the last time they touched their resumes. When was the last time you edited your resume?

It may definitely need a couple of new “brushstrokes” or a total “repaint” to revive its color and freshness and maintain relevance. Even if you have recently modernized it, it requires a frequent and thorough check. Ideally, you should update your resume every six months. Before you roll your eyes at this, here’s a fact to stop you. Candidates with polished resumes are more likely to land an interview and typically get a 7% higher salary. So, let’s proceed to resume optimization under the guidance of experts.


5 Expert Tips on How to Update a Resume

Learn from business leaders and professionals who will teach you how to make your resume sparkle looking modern and updated.


1. Select an appropriate design and style

Open your resume. Is it visually appealing, aesthetic, and stylish enough to catch the eye?

Recruiters typically spend an average of 7.4 seconds on every resume during initial skimming. Not that much to attract attention, right? That’s when a perfectly designed layout can make your resume more noticeable and leave an unforgettable first impression on hiring managers.

“When updating your resume design, you may impress the employer by adjusting fonts, colors, and visuals to align them with the main theme of the brand. Try to tailor your resume’s style to the brand’s aesthetics to show your interest in the company and your understanding of its mission and values,” recommends Roman Zrazhevskiy, Founder & CEO of MIRA Safety.

For example: Assuming you plan to apply for a job at MIRA Safety, you’d definitely bank on the safety theme in your resume design. A possible way to reinforce it is by using colors associated with protective equipment (red, orange, or yellow) to create a stronger visual appeal.

Of course, you don’t have to upgrade your resume’s format and stylistics single-handedly. Turn to online tools for a better resume design with templates:

  • Canva
  • Kickresume
  • ResumeLab
  • Enhancv
  • Novorésumé
  • ResumeGenius

2. Nourish your resume with keywords

Currently, keywords sit among the hottest resume trends. Here’s why. Modern recruiters utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen resumes automatically through a targeted keyword search. At this point, you should optimize your resume with job-relevant keywords to make it ATS-friendly.

But before stuffing it with keywords (avoid overstuffing!), research and carefully scroll through various job descriptions to identify proper keywords and phrases. For example, let’s say you want a sales representative job. In that case, you may need to add synonyms, e.g., sales professional or sales rep, and competence-related terms, such as communication skills, cold calling, or planning sales strategies to tailor your resume for the job.

Ian Sells, CEO of Million Dollars Seller, also reminds us about the importance of location-based keywords. He notes, “When it comes to updating your resume, such elements as city and state names or regional identifiers and abbreviations can greatly increase your resume’s discoverability when recruiters search for candidates from a particular location.”

3. Review your skillset and enlist new certifications

Do you still have that gray-bearded line “Good knowledge of PC and MS Office programs” in the skills section of your resume? It’s time to revisit it, don’t you think? And not only this section.

As correctly put by Grant Aldrich, Founder of Preppy, “You develop and grow personally and professionally every day. Therefore, your soft and hard skills and professional certifications may need a constant refresh in your resume to spotlight continuous learning and stay competitive in the job market.”


Soft skills

Suppose you’re a team leader or manager. Naturally, you’d want to feature your leadership type and organizational skills. Don’t hesitate to boast innovative trends and techniques you implement in the workplace.

For example, let’s imagine that you organize digital or productivity detox challenges for your team to support your employees’ well-being. Why not share this experience in your resume?

Hard skills

Hard skills are critically important when you update your resume for a tech job. Let’s imagine you pursue a career in artificial intelligence (AI), specifically as an AI engineer. You may update your resume’s skills section with a new programming language you’ve learned, such as Python, C++, R, or Java—commonly used programming languages for AI and machine learning.

Professional certificates

Picture this. You aim to craft a compelling healthcare resume for a surgical technologist position. The medical industry is growing and innovating fast. And, most probably, so are you! For instance, if you completed a new surgical tech program or AR/VR surgery training, upgrade your resume by adding it to your “Education” section or certifications.

4. Consider including the expected salary section

What are your salary expectations? Yep, it is that question, one of the most dreaded interview questions. Have you ever thought of putting your salary expectation in your resume? You probably feel uncomfortable discussing money with employers (most people do) and are hesitant to reveal the anticipated amount in your resume.

Bert Hofhuis, Founder of Everyinvestor, explains why you shouldn’t and why it may be the key element in upgrading your resume. He says, “The expected pay can become your main differentiator as a candidate. It will hint at your financial confidence, openness, and boldness, often critical qualities employers seek in candidates.”

However, there are several things to do before indicating your anticipated salary. Bert Hofhuis recommends the following:

  • Analyze and compare other wages in the market and form reasonable expectations
  • Give a range with a difference of at least $10,000–$15,000
  • Customize it for various jobs and employers
  • Place it at the end of your resume
  • Highlight that it is negotiable

In fact, 73% of employers are willing to negotiate salaries on job offers with candidates. Yet, 38% of job applicants never do this not to seem greedy. Break this wall of awkwardness and speak freely and openly about your possible pay. Your “Expected Salary” section may look like this:

  • My salary expectation lies in the range between $55,000 and $65,000+.
  • It is totally negotiable based on the job responsibilities and the employee benefits package.


5. Don’t let mistakes slip in

One single mistake in your resume can cost you a job. Don’t take this with a grain of salt; it is not an exaggeration. Bruce Chi, co-founder of Suretynow, instead adopts a less radical standpoint regarding typos or mistakes in job applicants’ resumes. However, he mentions, “A mistake or a typo in a resume is a marker of either poor knowledge or a lack of attention to detail. It results in a negative first impression. So, whenever you take your resume for an upgrade, make sure to edit and proofread it thoroughly from top to bottom. Even better—reread it in a day or two to cast a fresh glance at it and spot any mistakes left.”

Again, online tools may back you up and help you check the spelling, correct punctuation errors, and get rid of silly typos or grammar mistakes in a resume:

  • Grammarly
  • ResumeWorded
  • ai
  • me
  • Proofread Bot
  • SlickWrite

Time to Shake the Dust Off and Refresh Your Resume

A resume is a document that requires regular refreshment. Whether you’re looking for a job or already have one, you must edit your resume frequently to keep it up-to-date and applicable at every turn. With a professionally polished resume, you’ll stand out from the crowded market of candidates and strike a jaw-dropping effect on hiring managers and employers.

Don’t let your next job slip away. Spit-shine your resume and get hired!

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About the Author: Jesse is a professional writer whose aim is to make complex concepts easy to understand. He strives to provide quality content that assists people in everyday life.

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