One of the most common reasons for updating your resume is looking for a new job. Though whether you're sending your resume out with cover letters or just want to update it for your records, you don't have to rewrite it from scratch. Instead, a few key changes to your current resume can give it the update it needs to make an impact with potential employers.
What can stay the same?
No matter why you're updating your resume, chances are that there are some things from your old resume that will stay the way they are. Unless there were any changes in your education, such as earning an additional degree, or past jobs, much of what was already on your resume can stay the way it was.
What do I have to change?
Usually updating your resume means adding a job or two to your work experience. When you add a position to your resume, follow the same format already being used. Highlight your strengths and major contributions to the position, particularly as they relate to the job you're applying for.
If you have new job experience to add, you may consider updating your references, as well. Using recent references presents a better look at your job performance for potential employers.
In addition, you can this chance to make sure everything else on your resume is relevant to the position you're applying for. Read through your previous work experience and education to make sure the highlights show why you would be best for the position. If something is no longer relevant to your career path, don't be afraid to remove it from your resume. It is better to focus on your relevant job experience and education rather than simply filling the page.
How else should I update my resume?
If you're updating your resume because you're looking for a job, consider the overall look it presents. This is especially useful if you've been in the same position for many years. To get a better idea of what kinds of resume formats are effective, look at samples online, BestResumesSamples is a good resource for finding high quality resumes to compare yours off of.
Find a clean, simple format that works well in your industry and use it as a template for your updated resume. Don't worry about having a flashy format or lots of colors. Instead, let your experience and education speak for itself.
Updating your resume doesn't have to be an overwhelming prospect. Use what is already in your resume and build on it in order to showcase your strengths and skills. With a few updates to include your latest employment and any new references you want to include, your resume will be an effective tool in proving that you have what potential employers need.