Updating a resume can feel like a difficult game of chess in which every move (or edit) requires long deliberation, but it doesn't have to be so hard.
In fact, tweaking your resume can bolster your applications and help prospective employers get a clearer picture of what you bring to the table.
Stating your objective could get you into a Goldilocks situation where the porridge is either too hot or too cold.
"A general objective may make you lose points for not tailoring your resume to the position you are applying for. On the other hand, an objective that is too specific to the role may also eliminate you from the running," Kelly Mattice, vice president of health services at The Execu Search Group, wrote in an email.
It also can be a waste of space.
"Your objective is to get a job. Everything you have in [the objective] can be brought up during the interview process," millennial career expert Jill Jacinto said by email.
If there's an elephant in the room, point it out.
"Many people find this counterintuitive, but it is better to be upfront and transparent about gaps in your employment history. This is especially true if you can explain how you were being productive during this time in between full-time jobs," Mattice said.
Addressing a gap could actually work to your advantage.
"If you took two years off to get your Master's degree or held a series of relevant temp jobs, include them on your resume and highlight the skills you acquired as a result," she said. "If you became unemployed as a result of layoffs or a merger, mention that on your resume to explain why you have found yourself out of work."
Your resume should be focused on the job you're applying for.
"The entire resume must be clearly focused on a particular position," Louise Garver, president of Career Directions, said via email. "Job seekers think generic resumes will help them get in the door for multiple opportunities that the employer may have, but they typically don't."
Job applicants want to impress an employer, but that doesn't mean they should include unnecessary adjectives to describe themselves.
"Job seekers should remove all cliched adjectives from their resumes. Words like 'dynamic' and 'self-starting' fall flat and look like resume fillers," Mattice said. "Your past experiences and accomplishments should speak for themselves."
"The days of putting 'references available upon request' at the bottom of the resume are over. If you want to stand out, include a strong testimonial or two on your resume," Antonio Neves, millennial workplace speaker and author of "50 Ways To Excel In Your First Job (And in Life)", said in an email.
Former managers, clients or colleagues can write these short testimonials, Neves said.
To stand out from the crowd, consider adding a nontraditional experience to your resume.
"If you attended college full-time and worked full-time to pay for your tuition, this shows your commitment and dedication to completing something that's important to you," Neves said. "If every year you spearhead raising money for a nonprofit or charity, this shows selflessness and your willingness to support others."