Updating your resume

Most people prefer not to list their actual street address.

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Civilian resumes need to carve away unnecessary filler and only provide relevant information. Many older professional resumes include pages of detailed job descriptions.

Instead, the modern resume favors bulleted lists of responsibilities and accomplishments over long, blocky paragraphs.

When possible, describe your position in terms of accomplishments, which emphasize your productivity and resourcefulness. A recent college graduate may only need a one-page resume.

A list of responsibilities is all well and fine, but it only shows the resume reader what you should have been doing, not how you did it. Experienced professionals can expand their resume to two pages, while those with more than 15 years of experience can get away with three pages.

You can alter your resume to make it software-friendly. For instance, if I was scanning a freelance writer’s resume I’d look for words like “wrote” and “published.” By contrast, most prescreening software looks for nouns.

Software scanning the same resume, therefore, might look for “writer” or “publisher” instead of verbs.

Today’s resumes are leaner and meaner than their old counterparts.

They need careful formatting to get past prescreening software while remaining readable for real people. If you’re looking for work in today’s market, you’ll be submitting applications and resumes electronically.

As an added benefit, choosing a mix of keywords for your resume increases the chance prospective employers will find your resume in job bank searches.

Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world.

Which, of course, was a message implied by applying for the position in the first place.