3 key takeaways
- Why updating your resume is so important
- How often your resume should be updated and tips for refining it
- How Teal’s AI Resume Builder helps you update your resumes seamlessly
If you find yourself at the other end of the search: "How to update my resume," you aren't alone.
Like project plans or your to-do list, your resume should be what is known as a “living document.” In other words, it’s a document that you should continuously update throughout your career to reflect your most current skills and experience.
After all, the resume you put together after high school probably isn’t the best reflection of what you currently bring to the job market.
To help craft your best resume and keep up to date with current best practices, here’s a guide covering everything you need to know about updating your resume in 2023.
Why updating your resume is important
An updated resume highlighting your most recent accomplishments and skills can make a significant difference in catching the eye of potential employers.
Regularly updating it can also help you tailor your resume to fit the specific job you’re applying for, which increases your chances of getting selected for an interview.
Let’s look at a few of the other reasons why regular resume updates can help in your job search.
A person’s skills and work experience are things that are constantly growing and evolving. If you want to keep the skills and experience sections of your resume accurate and relevant, you’ll need to update your resume each time you learn a new skill or acquire new experience.
In fact, this is one of the best reasons, as new skills and experience will only make it more appealing in the eyes of potential employers. Remember, the job of your resume is to showcase the top 10% of your experience that's 100% relevant to the role you're applying for.
Most people think of resumes as a reflection of their past accomplishments, but your resume can also serve as a roadmap for future career development. As you gain new skills, complete training, or take on additional responsibilities that have significant impact, these accomplishments should be promptly added to your resume.
This proactive approach will help you track your professional growth and identify areas where you could benefit from further development.
Keeping your resume updated can benefit your job search in several ways. First, there’s the obvious fact that an up-to-date, relevant resume will generate a lot more positive results than one with outdated information or gaps in your work history.
It also ensures your resume will be ready to send out at a moment’s notice. Job seekers never know when a dream job posting will appear, and keeping your resume updated means you’ll be ready when it does.
Your resume is a key component of your personal brand. It tells the story of your professional journey and highlights your biggest strengths and achievements. By keeping your resume current, you can ensure that your personal brand is accurately represented.
Adapting to modern resume trends
Embracing modern resume practices can further improve the quality and appeal of your resume. From incorporating minimal design to keyword optimization, staying updated with resume trends and regularly updating your content can showcase your understanding of the current job market and modern hiring practices.
Pro Tip: Want to see if your resume has everything you need? The Teal AI Resume Builder has an Analysis Mode that scans your resume giving you real-time feedback on your resume's effectiveness as it relates to current resume trends.
Want to see where your resume stands? Sign up for Teal for free and try Resume Analysis today.
How long should a resume be in 2023?
The answer to this question can vary depending on how much experience and how many qualifications you have.
For example, someone with decades of experience across numerous jobs will naturally need a lot more space than someone writing a resume with no work experience.
Generally speaking, you should try to keep your resume to a single page (and no more than two pages).
What are the best fonts for a resume?
The font you choose for your resume can impact readability and professionalism, making it much more important than many people realize. It’s best to stick with classic fonts like:
- Times New Roman
How often should you update your resume?
There’s no right or wrong answer for how often you should update your resume. However, there are several specific instances when updating it can be helpful.
Here are a few of the times when it is most important to update your resume (and the reasons why):
When tailoring for each job application
Using the same resume for every job application may reduce your chances of getting called for interviews. It’s best practice to update your resume for each job application to align with the position you're applying for.
This will provide you with the opportunity to tailor your resume to each job description, allowing you to highlight the skills, experience, and values that each employer prioritizes.
After acquiring new skills or certifications
Anytime you acquire new skills or certifications, be sure to add these to your resume. Along with keeping your resume up to date, this will also help you keep track of your professional development.
Pro Tip: The free Teal AI Resume Builder has a dedicated "Certifications" section as well as a "Skills" section, so you can incorporate all of this information seamlessly.
If changing jobs or careers
You should always update your resume anytime there is a significant change in your career path, such as starting a new job (or an entirely new career). Your resume will likely need to be updated to reflect this transition so it’s ready for your next job search.
As needed for networking
As with applying to jobs, keeping your resume updated and relevant is also key when you’re using it for networking purposes.
If there's anything you can add to your resume to make it stand out to other professionals in your field, it’s worth the time to highlight.
At least annually
At a bare minimum, you should update your resume at least once a year. Even if you don’t have any new skills, certifications, or achievements to add (which you most likely will!), you can still give your resume a yearly polishing and ensure that it aligns with current resume writing best practices.
Interested in updating your resume? Sign up for Teal for free now.
10 tips for updating your resume
Updating your resume regularly and tailoring it to the specific job you're applying for is crucial for increasing your chances of landing an interview.
Adhering to best practices can help you create a quality resume while also preventing common errors that could discourage hiring managers, such as the use of jargon or irrelevant details.
Update your document using the below resume tips.
1. Add keywords to your resume
Resume keywords are specific words or phrases that relate to the job you're applying for. They're used by hiring professionals when they search digital filing systems like applicant tracking systems (ATS) for specific skills and qualifications to find top candidates.
Incorporating relevant resume keywords can increase your chances of being found by recruiters or hiring managers. But how do you incorporate them into your resume?
Use Teal's AI Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume.
Matching Mode provides insights on the keywords that your resume may be lacking, along with an overall score and real-time feedback on areas that need improvement. This feedback can help you advance your experiences and increase your score to improve your chances of success.
2. Include the appropriate resume sections
Your resume sections are key to showcasing all of your relevant experience. Organizing your personal information, work history, and relevant skills into different sections is an effective way to prioritize the most important details in your resume.
When formatting your resume, make sure to include the following sections:
- Contact Information
- Target Title
- Professional Summary
- Work Experience
– Awards and Scholarships
– Volunteering and Leadership
As you organize your resume into sections, start thinking about the details you want to highlight to hiring managers. This part of creating your resume must be strategic if you want to come out ahead of the other candidates.
3. Use a professional format
Hiring managers are looking for competent, responsible, detail-oriented candidates to fill open positions, and the best resume format helps communicate you have those qualities.
The most common format is a reverse chronological resume format to showcase your work experience in a clear and concise manner.
Here's a checklist to go through when updating your old resume:
- Choose resume templates that are clean, simple, and will parse correctly into the ATS.
- Use a font and font size that are easy to read.
- Keep margins to one inch.
- Create sections to highlight your skills, accomplishments, and any previous positions that fit the role's description.
- Use bullet points with action verbs to expand on each job title.
- Proofread for misspellings and grammar mistakes.
- Use a free resume tool like Teal to double-check your work.
To instantly access applicant tracking system-friendly resume formats, the AI Resume Builder has four customizable templates. Save time by directly importing a resume file or your LinkedIn profile so you can choose a modern resume template and customize it to any job you're applying to.
4. Refresh your contact details
It is common for people to experience changes in their personal contact details, such as their email or phone number. To ensure that potential employers can reach you, it is crucial to keep your resume header up to date with accurate contact information.
When refreshing your contact details, keep the following in mind:
- Use your first and last name
- Include a professional email and phone number
- List your location
- Include your full LinkedIn URL if it's up-to-date
Incorporating these details at the top of your resume allows hiring managers to reach out to you for a job interview.
5. Tailor your resume to the specific job description
Hiring managers want to know if you can successfully carry out a particular job, and the best way to communicate that is to tailor your resume to the description.
One effective way to do this is to identify keywords in the job listing that align with your experience and skills. Use those words to build a stronger case for yourself when you update your resume.
To save time customizing your resume for each job application, use Teal’s AI Resume Builder.
With the free tool, you can:
- Browse ATS-friendly templates
- Choose which work experiences to highlight
- Use Teal’s AI functionality to write professional summaries and resume achievements
- Analyze your resume’s effectiveness
- Match your resume’s content to job descriptions
You should also showcase how the responsibilities in your most recent position can transfer over to the job you are applying to. You can do this by detailing specific job responsibilities from past positions and showing your impact through metric-driven achievements.
Ready to tailor your resume with these features? Sign up for Teal today.
6. Update your professional summary
Your resume's professional summary shows a hiring manager your career in aggregate.
Rather than an outdated resume objective, a short professional bio should be no frills and straight to the point. The best summaries are between three and five sentences. They can be in paragraph form or simply listed with bullet points.
In your resume summary, be clear about the most impressive aspects of your experience. Frame it in a way that is attractive to hiring managers by showcasing impact. Remember, this is one of the first impressions a hiring manager has, so connect your professional summary to the job as much as possible.
Using the AI technology integrated within Teal's AI Resume Builder, you can generate professional summaries that are customized to your experience and the job you're applying for almost instantly.
Create multiple versions of your professional summary using Teal’s AI integration feature within the AI Resume Builder.
7. Include metric-driven achievements with action verbs
Metric-driven achievements are hard proof that you know what you're doing. By incorporating your best numbers, you're not only showcasing how you put your experience into action but also communicating your impact.
Potential employers want to know if you can do the job and if you have seen success in similar roles and situations. You can use career metrics to do both.
Action verbs effectively communicate what you've done in your career in a way that stands out to hiring managers.
Below are a few examples of using resume action verbs to enhance metric-driven achievements:
Instead of: Managed a team of 10 and worked cross-functionally.
- Implemented targeting training programs and facilitated opportunities for career growth, which led to reduced employee turnover by 70% month over month.
- Pioneered a cross-functional team that brought together engineers, designers, and product managers to collaborate on a new product launch.
- Spearheaded a new product development initiative that resulted in a 50% increase in revenue within the first year of launch.
Instead of: Used my strong business skills to make the company more money.
- Maximized our company's ROI by achieving a 40% increase in sales revenue within the first quarter of implementing a targeted email marketing campaign.
- Enhanced the company's market share by 15% while minimizing production costs by 10%, resulting in a 20% increase in net profit.
- Cultivated a new business partnership that generated $5 million in revenue for the company within the first year.
Beginning your achievements with action verbs not only makes your resume more dynamic and engaging but also demonstrates your competence and ability to achieve results.
Other ways to communicate metrics include:
- Grew organic traffic by 36% in 12 months.
- Increased email click-through-rates by 10%.
- Generated $25,000 in new business in Q1.
- Grew department from 12 employees to 36 employees.
- Implemented measures that cut spending by 25%.
- Increased social media followers by 14,000.
By using metrics in your resume that are relevant to the job posting, you are sending a potential employer actual proof you can do the job effectively.
Use the AI integration feature within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate achievements. To get quality, metric-driven achievements, make sure to attach a job description to incorporate relevant keywords.
Use the AI integration feature within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate work achievements.
8. Add relevant education or certifications
Certifications and advanced degrees show you've gone through extra steps to understand your industry and the necessary skills to thrive.
In the education section of your resume, include all post-secondary degrees earned. Do the same in a dedicated "Certifications" section.
As you list your degrees and certifications, make sure they are in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent degree or certification earned.
9. Proofread your resume
Updating your resume isn't a one-and-done job. You'll need to proofread it multiple times and after each update.
Proofreading your resume ensures it is free of errors when you go to submit it.
As you proofread, keep the following in mind:
- Is everything spelled correctly?
- Are there any filler words you can take out?
- Are you using active voice and action verbs?
- Is all your grammar correct?
If possible, find a second set of eyes to review your resume for anything you may have missed.
10. Save your resume as a PDF file
If a hiring manager can't open your resume, they can't offer you an interview.
In the United States, saving your resume as a PDF file ensures anyone can open it on their computer or smartphone. PDF files are universal and preserve all formatting within your resume.
If you send your resume in a different file, the recipient may need the appropriate software to open it. Or, the formatting might get lost in translation, resulting in your resume looking disheveled to the person viewing it.
By saving your resume as a PDF, you're ensuring that hiring managers are viewing the exact same document you are.
By using Teal's AI Resume Builder, you can export your resume directly as a PDF.
Use Teal's AI Resume Builder to optimize your resume for each potential job opportunity.
Update your resume easily with Teal
Keeping your resume updated and tailoring it to each specific job application can make it a much more effective tool for your job search. However, it’s also something that can take a lot of time and effort.
With Teal’s free AI Resume Builder, you can eliminate the hassle of updating, optimizing, and tailoring your resume. Teal offers professional resume templates and powerful AI algorithms to help you quickly create and optimize the perfect resume for each job you apply for.
Get started using Teal to create and update your resume with ease by signing up for free today!