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Refresh Your Resume

Kelley Northam, C'20
Career Center Intern

Some have the mindset that their resume should only be updated in the midst of a job hunt. However, as you are constantly evolving in your career, your resume should be changing right alongside you, even if you have been in the same position for 10 years. For students, though the resume that you wrote for the career fair sophomore year may have suited your needs then, it may not fully speak to your abilities and experiences when you are actively applying for jobs during senior year. Read on for a resume refresher course designed to make your resume shine.

Update Experience. You make think that this goes without saying, but it is crucial to update your work experience and activities sections regularly. A good strategy is to update these sections as soon as you gain a new position or experience. This will prevent you from forgetting to add something important when you submit your resume later on. Additionally, if you have been in the same position for a long time, consider updating the accompanying description. Has your title changed? Do you have more responsibilities than you did when you started? Have you become familiar with a new software application? All of these things should be included in your updated resume.

Energize Your Vocabulary. Anyone can describe a previous job at American Eagle by saying that you “helped customers with their shopping needs.” Showcase your skills and set yourself apart from other applicants by describing your experience as something like this: “facilitated numerous sales of fashion merchandise through strong interpersonal skills.” Though these two sentences may be describing the same position, the second description highlights skills translatable to any job and uses strong vocabulary to do so. Note, however, that descriptions are not a time to show off your vocabulary skills to impress the application committee. If you cannot use the word scrupulous in a sentence, do not put it on your resume. The following is a short list of action verbs that will make your descriptions pop:

·       Accomplished  

·       Maintained

·       Standardized

·       Analyzed

·       Improved

·       Collaborated

·       Conducted

·       Marketed


Change Your Format. While updating your resume, you may find it to be longer than intended. If this is the case, it may be time to change the format. The most important thing to note when formatting your resume is that it should be as clear and clean as possible by making sure the font is legible (at least 11-point font) and maintaining consistency throughout (for example, use italics for all job titles.)

For additional resume help, please make an appointment at the Career Center at Additionally, stop by and pick up a copy of our updated resume writing guide!

Kelley Northam, C'20
Career Center Intern