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Dusting off your resume may seem like a chore, but it’s best done when you have a little bit of spare time and aren’t in a rush to get back out on the job market. Updating your resume for 2018 may just require a few tweaks that helps you sell your skills to employers.
The “objective” section of a resume typically isn’t used anymore and can make your resume — and you, by extension — seem outdated. Opt instead for a professional summary, which describes your career so far and highlights your best skills. Think of this as an “elevator pitch” in a 2-3 sentence paragraph.
At one time, job seekers were told to use action verbs on their resumes. That’s still true, but make sure you are not overusing the same words over and over again. They may be accurate, but do little to sell yourself as an employee. If you need some help, check out some strong verbs that will bolster the energy of your resume.
By looking at some samples of current resumes you can get an idea of what people expect to see on the written page. While the advice about ditching the fancy fonts still rings true, it’s also good to remember that a sleek, modern look can catch the eye of the right people. A mix of short paragraphs and bullet points and an effective use of white space can make it look like you’re ready to tackle a new position and bring innovative ideas on board.
You’ll want to emphasize the hard, technical skills that are essential in your chosen field. But don’t overlook the soft skills like leadership and interpersonal communication. Those are best described through a few choice examples from paid or volunteer experience.
Remember, your resume is about putting your best foot forward. Don’t worry if you have gaps or older credentials — by arranging your resume the right way, you can find the right match for your skills, experience and interests.