5 Real Ways to Improve Your Resume

Everyone should update their resume a least once a year. If you’ve been updating your resume regularly you may not need an entire overhaul of your resume just a little housekeeping. If it’s been more than one year since your last resume update, you may need an overhaul. In the meantime, here are five tried and true ways to update your resume to get better results in your job search. No fluff here…..

1. Update the Headline – many people make the mistake of using the headers feature in MS Word to write their contact information. MS Word Headers can seriously cause formatting issues in an applicant tracking system making contact info unreadable. Instead simply type your Name, City/State/Zip (Province or Locale), an email address you check regularly, a working phone number, and LinkedIn address in the body, at the top of the your resume leaving a minimum of .5″ of margin space. Do not include street address to protect your identity. Keep it simple as seen in the below template example.


2. Remove Objective Statements – Objective statements are so 1980 and a big signal that your resume is outdated. Instead add  the name of the job or job title that you are seeking. This replaces the objective statement and clearly states the job for which the resume is being submitted.

job title

3. Add a Technical Skills Inventory – Catalog a list of software that you are skilled at using. Most people forget to list the software, even when the employer clearly states the software requirements in the job posting. A simple inventory list is often enough. No matter the job, you should include a technology skill list. This list can also function as a keyword list for search engines.  50% of job seekers do not list a technical inventory on their resume. The technical skills list will separate you from your competition. Below is an example of a simple inventory list.

technical skills


For IT professionals, a technical skills list is particularly important. The list should be segmented into sections as seen in the below example:

technical skills3

4. Add Completed Training Courses to the Education section if they are relevant to the job you seek. Employers like to see candidates who are committed to improving their skill set and skill sets should be renewed every 3-5 years. This means you should be adding a degree, certification, or training to your resume within this time frame. Training can be a great way to supplement the absence of a degree or certification on your resume. The training can be on and off the job. It’s also a great way to supplement the time in between starting and finishing a degree or certification.  www.lynda.com is a great way to complete training at a low cost and you can add it to your LinkedIn profile automatically upon completion. Below is an example training list for an aspiring project manager who is not certified.

training list

5. Remove “References Available Upon Request.”  This statement is also from the 80’s. Believe it or not, candidates still include this statement at the bottom of resumes. Most companies today are aware that they can and often will request references. You are wasting valuable resume space by making an obvious statement. So do yourself a favor and remove this statement from your resume.

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Holly Bunn is a career coach, resume writer, LinkedIn profile writer, and motivational speaker with more than 15 years of experience in Human Resources, recruiting, and technology. She is sought after as a subject matter expert on resumes, LinkedIn, job search, and career management. Holly has delivered job search workshops and written resumes for hundreds of job seekers who have secured interviews and landed jobs. Her clients experience success almost immediately after applying her winning techniques. For more information on career coaching or resume help, contact Holly at (305) 791-6965 or holly@msresumehelp.com.

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