Have you found yourself on the job hunt again? In the same way that you’ll need to brush up on your interviewing skills, you also need to spruce up your resume to make sure that it is current and up-to-date. Here are six easy ways that you can dust off the cob webs on your old resume and give it a present-day refresh.
1. Tailor your resume to the job you want
As you’re looking for a new job, you need to focus on what the position entails. Is your resume a proper showcase of your most relevant skills for this particular role? If not, you’ll need to make adjustments as necessary. Your resume needs to highlight your skills and experiences that prospective employers would find most appealing for their current opening. Take a look at the job description and the organization’s career site to get a better picture of the type of employees they look to hire. Often, it is smart to make multiple versions of your resume for each role that you are applying for, as every role and organization are different. Find out as much as you can about the job you’re interested in and review your resume to ensure you aren’t leaving out any relevant skills or pertinent information.
2. Update the aesthetics
Take your resume to the next level by updating the aesthetics of the document itself. Update your fonts, colors, and content to something that is more attractive and easy to read. Get out of the Dark Ages and opt out of using Times New Roman for a font that’s more fresh and modern. Feel free to add variations in the colors that you use, but make sure that it’s professional and not too distracting. Lastly, it is a best practice to remove any pictures of yourself from your resume; keep those online or on your social media profile. Once you’ve made these updates, take a step back and look at your resume to ensure that it is cohesive and clear.
3. Make it easy to find important information
A prospective employer does not want to waste their time trying to sort out your education and employment history. Your name and contact information should be bold or highlighted at the top of your resume. The different sections being used need to be clearly differentiated with the proper spacing; use indentation when necessary; use bold, italicized or underlined fonts for your titles. Someone should be able to clearly identify how to get in contact with you, your education, past job titles, and organization name and dates— don’t make them work for it.
4. Add a relevant skills section
If you are submitting your resume to a job, it’s best to remove the objective section of your resume and have it instead focus on your relevant skills. The first section of your resume tends to be where a recruiter or hiring manager will start to get a sense of who you are as a potential employee. Don’t make employers and recruiters have to search for your qualifications- provide it for them in a skills section. This area needs to quickly demonstrate the top relevant skills you have, as well as entice those to keep reading the rest of your resume.
5. Be specific about your skills and achievements
The best resumes are direct and succinct. Try to cut down on unnecessary words or roundabout ways of explaining things. This makes reading your resume efficient and easy, as well as opens up space for you to talk about the other amazing things you’ve done in past roles. Use varying action verbs (such as organized, coordinated, created, developed, accelerated, enhanced, improved, influenced, facilitated, etc.) to get as specific and creative as possible.
6. Use numbers where you can
In addition to adding new skills and achievements to your resume, you need to demonstrate these achievements numerically as well. For example, rather than saying “increased sales, trained new employees, and increased the social media following,” ground those achievements in numbers: Increased sales by 25%, trained 4 new employees, and doubled the organization’s social media following. That way, a recruiter or potential employer can truly see the ways you made an impact in your past roles. With quantifying your results and utilizing numbers where you can, you’ll be able to highlight your successes even more vividly.
Your resume is typically the first thing a prospective employer will see to get a sense of who you are as an employee. It’s one of the most important mediums for selling yourself and your achievements. Make these easy updates to ensure your resume is refreshed and will communicate your qualifications in the best way possible.
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