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Explore the top 10 ways to update your resume for the new year

Whether you're looking for a new position or you want to recognize and track your professional growth, the new year can be a great time to update your resume. Even if you're not actively searching for a new role, it can be an opportunity to add your latest skills, credentials, and work experience. This can help you stay prepared for upcoming career opportunities and prevent you from needing to update your application documents when you're in the midst of applying for an exciting new role.

Why update your resume?

If you're not actively searching for a new job, you may be hesitant to update your resume or feel like other professional tasks take priority. Refreshing your resume in the new year can be a great way to recognize your professional development and review the new competencies and strengths you've developed over the course of the year. You can add the skills you've acquired and list new responsibilities or job duties you've handled to make sure your resume is the best possible representation of your career and yourself as a candidate.

Updating your resume for the new year also offers you the opportunity to proofread the document when you're not in the market for a new role, which can alleviate some of the stress of reviewing your resume and allow you to read through it with a calm approach. This can help you identify errors or typos you may have otherwise missed. 

"Refreshing your resume in the new year can be a great way to recognize your professional development and review the new competencies and strengths you've developed over the course of the year. "

Top 10 ways to update your resume for the new year

Here are 10 approaches you can take to refresh your resume for the new year and prepare for the job opportunities ahead: 

Outline your achievements

When you're submitting a resume to a hiring manager, they'll likely review it to gain a better understanding of not only the tasks you handled but the primary accomplishments you achieved throughout your career. When you're refreshing your resume, outline your major achievements from the past year and make sure to add them to your resume. This can help you show a prospective employer that you can not only handle a variety of tasks but can also exceed expectations and reach substantial milestones. 

Collect evidence of your accomplishments

After identifying what you've achieved, consider collecting data and statistics to provide evidence of your success. For example, if you plan to state that you led a team through the completion of a project, consider what you did to ensure your team completed it and how you individually contributed to the achievement of this accomplishment. If possible, try to quantify your achievements to make it easier for a hiring manager to review and understand their significance. 

Identify your new skills

In addition to your achievements, it's also important to identify the new skills you've developed and consider how they contribute to your success as a professional. As you continued to develop throughout the last year, the number of skills and competencies you possess may have grown. Keeping a running list can make it easier when you want to apply for a position in the future, as it allows you to have something to reference when customizing your resume for a particular role to match the employer's expectations and requirements. 

Freshen up your resume formatting

After reflecting on the past year, it's time to review your existing resume and see what areas may require revision, beginning with the formatting. If you created your resume for an entry-level position right after graduating college, you may have your education listed above your work experience section. However, after gaining experience in the last year, it may be time to prioritize the work history section of your resume and move it under your professional summary, above your academic credentials.

Review your resume header

An accurate resume header is essential for ensuring employers can contact you to schedule an interview, so you may want to review it when you refresh your resume for the new year. Ensure that your contact details are up to date and that the phone number and email address listed are the best ways to reach you. If you still have your address listed, consider removing this information and substituting it for only the city and state where you live.

Rewrite your professional summary or resume objective

Besides your resume header, you may also have a professional summary or resume objective at the top of your resume. Since you've already reviewed your skills and accomplishments, try to update your professional summary to match the strengths you've developed over the past year. This can help you gain the attention of a hiring manager and begin your resume by outlining your newly acquired expertise.

Make it engaging with action verbs

Another way to improve your resume for the new year is to review the language you used and substitute in action verbs wherever possible. When reviewing your employment history, begin describing your job duties using action verbs to engage the reader and highlight your contributions. This can help you use your resume to distinguish yourself from other candidates

Make it ATS-friendly

Hiring managers may upload candidates' resumes to an applicant tracking system (ATS) before reviewing them, so it's important for your application documents to include the right keywords. Make sure to add industry keywords to your resume to ensure it gets past a recruiter's ATS. You can conduct a quick internet search to gain a better understanding of the words and phrases an ATS may look for in a resume in your field.

Include any new academic credentials or certifications

If you've earned any new degrees or professional certifications in the last year, add this information to your resume. This can show a future employer that you're committed to your continual development throughout your career. It can also help you validate the skills listed throughout your application documents and show a hiring manager you possess the training and technical knowledge they're looking for in a candidate.

Review your final draft and wait for a job opportunity

One of the best things about updating your resume for the new year is that it allows you to be ready to submit an application when great job opportunities arise. After reviewing the existing content and adding your latest credentials and achievements, proofread the document a final time to make sure it's error-free. A well-written resume can be the key to applying for the role you want and advancing your career.

As you prepare to enter the new year, it's important to update your resume to ensure you're ready for the exciting job opportunities ahead. Highlighting your accomplishments, skills, and role-related progress can be a great way to show an employer you're prepared for a new position, so it's important to update and upload a resume before heading into 2023.

More tips on applying for the job that's right for you:

Not sure where to start? Learn how to build a resume with CoLab.

When refreshing your resume, try staying away from the most common resume mistakes.

Here's an overview of which resume buzzwords to use and which to avoid.