It’s officially springtime, and our thoughts turn to tidying up.  No, not our home offices or the junk drawer in the kitchen. Instead, the Movement Talent team is taking some time to focus on rearranging our resumes and polishing our professional presence on LinkedIn.

None of us are looking for new jobs. Still, we know it’s always easier to make little changes at regular intervals than to carry out a major overhaul when a new opportunity arises.  With that in mind, we’re offering a few tips to keep your resume relevant and effective.

1. Edit ruthlessly. We know it sounds challenging, but our team recommends keeping the resume to one page for early- to mid-career professionals and two for those with Director-level or higher positions. Think of this as a curated collection of your career history. On average, a human reviewer or AI parser will spend just 30 seconds reviewing your resume, so you need to quickly and easily align with what they’ll be looking for. We recommend having someone who doesn’t know your work history quickly review your resume and give you the highlights they see. Use that feedback to edit accordingly.

This also means being judicious in how far back your work history goes. Consider using bullet points only for positions directly related to what you’re applying for. Limit the number of bullet points under each position to two or three, and make them results-oriented, including numbers or percentages to indicate your accomplishments. Use that space to tell a potential employer something they wouldn’t know from just the position title alone. For the remainder of your work history, it’s okay to list just the employer, title, and years.

How else can you achieve brevity? Let’s move on to tip #2.

2. Make multiple versions.  Have different versions for different positions.  Not every potential employer needs to see every job or every task, particularly if they’re irrelevant.  Sometimes, you might be looking for a career change, so focusing on relevant volunteer activities, publications, or professional development might be more effective. You don’t need ten different resumes sitting on your desktop but do consider at least a couple of versions that can easily be customized to suit the types of opportunities you know you want to pursue.

3. Augment with your digital presence. Now that you’ve created concise versions of your refreshed resume, don’t panic about how much you had to leave out. That’s because we recommend thinking of your resume as working in tandem with your LinkedIn profile.  Savvy recruiters and hiring managers will review your resume to ensure alignment and see what you’ve been up to recently, then they’ll do a deep dive of your LinkedIn profile to get a better idea of the depth and breadth of your experiences professionally and beyond. If you have your own website, keep that updated as well.

This dialogue between paper and digital allows you to explain parts of your work history, such as employment gaps. Add a sentence to your resume, such as “For a full list of experiences, please see my LinkedIn page.” LinkedIn makes it easy to add a career break; find instructions on how to do so here.

For LinkedIn, consider it a living document that you should revisit regularly. We recommend setting a calendar reminder (we have ours scheduled quarterly) to spend an hour updating your profile.  Keep a running list somewhere handy – notepad by your desk, notes app on your phone – to jot down accomplishments and activities as they occur.

Don’t discount things that might not seem directly applicable to your job search.  LinkedIn has sections to add information on coursework, community organizations, publications, projects, and volunteer experiences, all of which can contribute to a rich and robust portrait of who you are and what you care about beyond your day job. While LinkedIn is a professional platform, letting your personality shine through is appropriate and can help you stand out in a crowded field of applicants.

Keep in mind that while consistently updating your resume is essential, no document or digital profile can take the place of relationship building. Excellent documents and a strong network give you a whole package when searching for jobs.

How often do you refresh your resume or update your LinkedIn profile? Or are these things you set aside unless you’re actively searching for job? Head on over to Movement Talent’s LinkedIn page to continue the conversation.