You may not be thinking of applying to a new job in 2023, but you never know what a year may hold. It’s a good time to give the resume a bit of a tune-up. No need to debate whether or not the resume is dead – yet. The reality is that it’s really helpful to have a document that contains your professional work experience. You can use it to update your online professional profiles, but you will also find many employers still need a resume at some point.
7 Tips to Give Your Resume a Refresh in 2023
Your resume may not be the first impression that it used to be. But it is still a piece of the hiring conversation. Here are seven tips to tidy things up this year.
1. Update it with 2022 content.
Whether or not you’re actively searching for jobs, take 30 minutes this week to add 2022 to your resume. It won’t take that long, and your future self will thank you. Add in any new accomplishments, promotions, or extracurricular activities that are applicable. And then give it a once-over with some other tweaks. You don’t know what could come up later this year – it helps to be ready.
2. Make sure your best stuff is on the upper half of each page.
It’s a human trait to lose interest as we move down the page – whether it’s on a screen or on paper. Whether you’re just updating your online professional profile or your resume, put your most relevant information at the top. Don’t bury the key details and make someone scroll to get what they need.
3. Check to see if someone can skim your resume.
Some of the best resumes are the most simple. You want someone to be able to glance through your resume for key details. Small fonts and stacked sentences make it challenging to skim through for the key points. Don’t hurt a recruiters eyes. Give them what they need without overwhelming them.
4. Clean out the jargon and empty words.
Don’t tell someone you’re detail-oriented. Vague terms are a bit of a turnoff. Make sure the average person can understand your resume without losing your industry-specific language. Keep in mind that you want industry language – not jargon. You may have gotten rid of all the jargon, but are you using the same action verb repeatedly? You don’t have to consult a thesaurus to replace everything, but make sure you’re engaging the reader.
5. Bring some numbers to the conversation.
Wherever you can back up your statements with facts and numbers, do it. Have stats from your prior year, add it to the resume. Update your accomplishments or tasks with some stats.
6. Update your security clearance information.
If you had a security clearance at one point, add that. This tells employers that you could be “clearable” and you may have a good chance at getting an interim security clearance. Did you get a Top Secret clearance in 2022? Make that change on your resume. You don’t want to add Special Access Programs you were a part of or any classified, sensitive, or proprietary information. However, it’s okay to list your clearance issuing agency, clearance level, and polygraph. If you have multiple clearances, you could consider a security clearance section on your resume. When in doubt, check with your security officer if you’re concerned.
7. Don’t forget the keywords.
It is 2023. Like it or not, your resume will get skimmed for keywords. Don’t stuff it full of them, but if your job field has specific keywords, use them. And if you’re actively searching for a job, skim the job description for the words that are used the most often. Then, make them part of your bullet points.
If you’ve been out of school for a few years, you may want to remove your graduation dates. However, you should add any continuing education you’ve done recently. Why? It shows that you are willing to grow and learn. You can’t train curiosity and a growth mindset. Candidates who are interested in growing their skills and continually adapting are an asset hard to pass up.