How to Update Your Resume for 2021

modern resume 20201

Here are some tips for updating your resume for the current job market along with some examples of how to update your approach.

1. Gather job titles and dates. Don’t use a single job title for a 15-year career at the same company. Include start/end years. Months aren’t needed unless you’re new to the workforce.

OLD: Biggee Corp, Houston, TX, Support Department (Aug. 12, 2007- Jan. 1, 2013)

NEW: Biggee Corp., Houston, TX, Sr. Customer Support Representative (2008-2013), Team Lead (2007-2008)

2. Focus on results. Instead of listing your activities, focus on RESULTS. What IMPACT did you make? How is your company better off than now than it was before you were hired? Always start with a verb (action):

OLD: Responsible for following up on leads, presenting product information and making cold calls.

NEW: Increased leads by 25% Y/Y by simplifying the lead generation process and creating more effective call scripts.

3. Include metrics. Quantify any information that describes your level of impact or scope of responsibility.

OLD: Managed Human Resources team. Responsible for screening and hiring new employees.

NEW: Led Human Resources team of 5 recruiters to screen 238 applicants and hire 27 new employees in 10 months. Retention increased 7% Y/Y.

4. Identify specific skills. Make a list of your skills that are valuable in today’s job market. These will be critical keywords for candidate screening systems. In addition, you can include up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn profile, so make the most of that opportunity.

OLD: IT, Operations, Finance

NEW: Data Analysis, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Augmented Reality (AR)

5. Highlight recognition. Create a list of any awards, certifications or recognition you achieved, along with relevant dates.

OLD: Award-winning sales professional

NEW: Seller of the Year 2017, Innovation in Action Award 2016, Best Practices Award 2015

6. Include unique attributes. Hiring managers are looking for a good cultural fit between candidate and company, not just skills that match the job posting.

OLD: References available upon request

NEW: Interests include golf, long-distance running, Triathlons, SPCA, American Red Cross volunteering

7. Remove education dates. Especially for baby boomers in the job market, it’s best to omit specific dates related to your education unless you’re within 10 years from graduation.

OLD: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Bachelor of Arts, Art History 1986

NEW: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Bachelor of Arts, Art History

8. Omit incidental information.If you have more than 15 years of work experience, your first couple of jobs may no longer be relevant. Including details on the past 10-15 years is good, but earlier roles are optional unless they’re part of the story of your career. You can also group them into a single heading such as “Other Experience 1993-2004.”

OLD: Auto Mechanic, Tom’s Gas Station 1986-1989 summers

NEW: Marketing Intern, General Electric, 2005-2007


9. Leverage LinkedIn. More people will see your online profile than your actual resume. Write a descriptive, first-person summary that captures your personality and key accomplishments. Add individual job highlights from your new-and-improved resume. Add specific project details to demonstrate your skills. Write recommendations for others. This demonstrates your empathy/EQ skills, teamwork, appreciation, leadership and writing skills. Ask for recommendations and endorsements from current and former coworkers.

10. Become a SME. Share articles and write posts regularly on various social sites (e.g. LinkedIn and Twitter) to establish yourself as a subject-matter expert (SME) in your field of choice.

That’s it! There’s no need to do all of this in one sitting. Just do as much as you can and give yourself a deadline for overall completion so it doesn’t drag on too long. After this exercise, see if you can create a system for capturing this type of detail every quarter in a single location that you can find easily for future resume updates.

If you need help creating or updating your resume, writing your LinkedIn profile summary, or leveraging LinkedIn, the Resume Wiz team can help. Please contact us today at info at for a free discussion.

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