7 Tips to Tune Up Your Resume

Images of hand tools, referencing the tools to help improve your resume Does the thought of writing a new resume make you feel slightly ill?

You’re not alone. Most people would agree that resume writing can feel akin to torture.

And while the writing process can be painful, the fact is that a strong resume can be the key that unlocks those precious interview opportunities.

But we have good news! You don’t need to go through the painstaking effort of creating a brand new resume for every job search.

7 tips to help you tune-up your old resume:

  1. Remove your address.  Simply include an email address and phone number. A hiring manager may see your address and withdraw you from consideration if they think your commute may be too long. How far you are willing to travel for the right job should be your choice.
  2. Add a Qualifications section and remove the Objective. Include achievements, notable skills and significant experiences. It’s a great, at-a-glance way to show all that you bring to the table.
  3. List your most recent 10-15 years of experience. Focusing on accomplishments and skills from that time frame will keep you relevant. If you have gaps in your work history, instead of month/day/year, consider using only the year. This may improve your chances of getting contacted. You can explain the reasons for the gaps with a potential employer when they reach out.
  4. Limit bullet points to 5-6 per job. Stick to the most important job duties. (The ones that really paint a picture of what you did and what you could offer a new employer.)
  5. Use numbers and percentages whenever suitable. Numbers really stand out and are a great way to measure your accomplishments, or to emphasize the scope and scale of your responsibilities.
  6. Move your education to the bottom of your resume. Unless you’re a recent college grad, you’re likely to have plenty of more current and relevant work experience to shine the spotlight on.
  7. Don’t include “references available upon request.”  Employers likely WILL ask for references anyway, so it’s redundant to include it.

Remember to proofread! Ask someone else to read it, too! Easily avoided mistakes can leave a negative impression.

It make take a few minutes out of your day to make some changes to your resume, but look at the big picture – it’s an investment in your future!

Many recruitment agencies offer resume help to their employees, so don’t be afraid to reach out to a staffing firm for help.

How TERRA Can Help You

If you are looking for work, consider working with TERRA.

Contact our experienced recruiting team today to find out the many ways we can assist you with your job search!

Getting started with us is simple. Just check out our current job openings.

We have offices in the Seattle-Puget SoundPortland-Metro, and Phoenix-Metro areas and our expert recruiters are waiting to speak with you!



  1. I think that it’s interesting that you would suggest removing the address. I have always thought it best to fill in my address, but I can see how it would effect an employer’s decision. It is really helpful to read so many suggestions about creating a resume and making it the best that you can. I never thought about a lot of your tips, I will be applying them soon!

  2. Thanks for all of the tips on how to spruce up your resume. I need to change my resume so that it lists my references. I’m guilty of having “references available upon request” in my resume. Employment agencies are going to ask for references anyway, as you mentioned.

  3. I’m not even that old, but I’ve updated my resume a ton. I would have never thought about removing my address. I guess I can see how employers wouldn’t want to hire someone far. Luckily, it’s never been a problem for me because I like to apply close to home. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. Thanks for the advice on how to update my resume. I want to try to get a job through a temp agency, but I know I’ll have to have a good resume. It is a good idea to use the year I worked at my past jobs instead of the month. That way, I won’t show any obvious gaps in my work history.

  5. Thanks for the article! I thought it was interesting that you suggested removing your address. Consideration of your application may be denied if your potential employer thinks you commute too far. I also feel that a majority of interactions with employers is through email or phone calls anyway, so the address becomes irrelevant and useless. I really appreciated your advice, I hope to adjust my resume soon and will be using these tips to do so.

  6. Jezabel, what a great tip that you mentioned on the four tip about adding a qualification section. I know this is something that even my job coach mentioned to me. She mentioned to me about the need of adding this section as a way to get managers to become interested in you.

  7. This is some really good information about how to make your resume look good. I like that you pointed out that if you aren’t a recent college graduate you should move your education down to the bottom of your resume. It seems like it might also be smart to give your resume to a recruitment agency and see if they have any more tips on how to improve it.


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