Whether the last time you updated your resume was last year or last century, one thing is certain: things have changed. Resumes are one of those facets of job hunting that are always up for debate, but there is no denying that the climate of the economy has led to some significant differences in the way companies are hiring. Firms and organizations are looking for the perfect blend of stability and the ability to adapt to change, so while your professional, stiff-collar resume might sound solid, it also sounds outdated and boring.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Updating Your Senior Executive Resume

By simply updating your resume to a more modern version, you can still highlight the skills and virtues that make you a stalwart candidate for the job, but also so show that you aren't on your way, just on your way up.

  1. You Have Six Seconds to Capture Their Attention. Don't write your entire life story—save that for your business memoirs. Studies have found that you have six seconds to “wow” businesses with your resume and warrant further inquiry. You don't want to overwhelm them with details, just highlight and intrigue. If you've been around for a few decades as a senior executive, two pages is fine—otherwise, keep it to one page of relevant experience, skills and accomplishments.

  2. Provide URL Links. It's not to say that if you're not online, you don't exist, but one could make that argument. Give links to your professional sites, be they website, social media pages, online resumes, etc. Be sure that they are all giving the same info, in the same or similar language. You want to present a clear, consistent message about your brand: you.

  3. Use Mobile Numbers Only. Some people think that listing a home phone number is more personable, but all that says is you're either home all day or you can only be reached when you are. Instead, only provide a mobile number so you portray availability. Make sure your voicemail greeting reflects the appropriate message you want to send as well.

  4. Make it Digestible. The internet has changed the way that we read and process data. Everything is broken up into short, easy to digest sections. Stay far away from the dreaded “wall of text” but don't go overboard with long bulleted lists either. Keep sections short and to the point. The best resumes are easily skimmable so label your sections clearly (i.e. skills, accomplishments, professional profile, etc.).

  5. List Your References. For some reason, people seem to think that writing “references available upon request” sounds better than listing actual references. It's not. Everyone should have references and if they are truly references, they should be available up front, not on request. Of course, if you cannot do this for some reason, don't stress the issue. But you will come off as much more stable and professional if you list your references on your resume or cover letter.