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Five Steps for Updating Your Resume

Five Steps for Updating Your Resume

By Caroline Levchuck, Yahoo! HotJobs

While you may not need an entirely new resume, you should probably freshen up your current credentials.

Updating your resume doesn't have to be too time-consuming or painful, says resume expert Lauren Milligan, founder of ResuMAYDAY, a Chicago-based resume writing and career services firm. She shares five quick tips for breathing new life into your old resume.

1. Start at the End

Don't overwhelm yourself by looking at your entire resume -- yet. "Look at the bottom of your resume and see if there's anything new that you can add," Milligan says. "Workshops, professional training or awards are a quick way to add something current."

2. Where You've Been and Where You're Going

Next, look at the position nearest the bottom of your resume. "Ask yourself if it's still relevant to your current career goal," Milligan advises. "If it's not, delete it so you can build on more current accomplishments that will further your career."

If that last position is still somewhat relevant, edit it down. "The very first position you held should get the least amount of attention," Milligan says.

3. A Year in the Life

Turn your attention toward your current job. "Update any new projects or accomplishments that have occurred over the last year," she says. "Even if it's not a promotion, just include anything from [the past year] that can be added to it."

4. Update Your Look

Current information deserves a current look. Is your resume's look stylish and polished -- or plain, dull and dated? If so, Milligan says it may be time to give your resume a face-lift. "If you're still using the same resume format you used a few years ago, you should change it to something more suited to the positions you're currently pursuing -- not those you had after graduation."

Also, make your resume available in several formats -- text only, Microsoft Word and PDF. "There's a good use for each of these formats," Milligan says. "Having a PDF of your resume at the ready implies a little more technical savvy on your part."

5. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Milligan cannot stress enough the importance of proofreading your resume. "Every time you make any changes to your resume, it's possible to introduce another error," she says. "Proofread it again and again, and ask a few friends to look at it, also. You can never be too careful."

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