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Tips on updating a resume

You need to address this gap on your résumé, as employers will want to know how you spent the time.

Instead, his résumé focuses on the senior IT project management experience he's accumulated during the past two decades.

Drop all but the past 15 years of professional experience from your résumé, advises vocational psychologist and career coach Janet Scarborough Civitelli, who runs the Austin, Texas–based consultancy Vocation

Of course, keywords and catchphrases alone won't land you the interview.

You can make your résumé more impressive by adding specific metrics about new advertising revenue, sales numbers or budgets.

"My résumé was in terrible shape," says Mann, of Bellevue, Wash., who was laid off in 2009 and is now 65.

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In contrast to standard practice 10 or 20 years ago, avoid including your street address on your résumé. Instead, provide your email address, cellphone number and Linked In URL.

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Suppose you left the legal field to work in nonprofit arts administration but then decided to return after a few years.(She makes an exception for folks who have a strategic reason to include earlier experience.) Unless you work in academia or the sciences, stick to two single-sided pages, she adds.Another tip is to organize your résumé chronologically so it's easy to follow.Edwards suggests condensing the arts-sector info on your résumé so it doesn't take up as much space as your legal background.Tailor your résumé to each job you pursue, using keywords and phrases that echo the experience the job listing requests.Suppose you took a five-year break from relevant work.