Courtesy of Murray Resources
You want to find a new job. But when’s the last time you looked at your resume?
If the answer is “a few years ago,” or worse, “I don’t remember,” then you have some work to do before you can submit it to potential employers. A great resume is like a ticket into the interview process. And if you don’t have one, then you’re going to miss out on top opportunities.
To help you in the process, here are six easy ways to update your resume:
#1: Think about goals.
While your resume gives an overview of your career history, it should also be about future goals. That means when you’re thinking about what to highlight, consider it through the lens of where you want to go in your career. If job duties at a past position don’t align with future career goals, then don’t put a lot of emphasis on them. Concentrate your attention, instead, on the experiences and credentials that relate to your current career objectives.
#2: Eliminate the objective.
Unless you’re changing careers, get rid of the objective, or make it very short. This simply takes up valuable space without offering a lot of return. Instead, replace it with a summary of qualifications that offers a few key highlights of your professional career.
#3: Focus on the “wow” factor.
The strongest resumes promote results, not just duties and responsibilities. Some questions to ask yourself to find your “wow” factor for each position include:
- What have you been best at in past positions?
- What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
- Which achievements can you back up with numbers, dollars, and percentages?
- What information would make a hiring manager want to call you in for an interview?
#4: Refresh the look.
Most hiring managers scan resumes. So make yours easy to quickly skim. Use bolded job titles and three to four bullet points under each. Also, don’t use a tiny point size for your font; 11 or 12 are standard. In addition, make sure there’s plenty of spacing so your resume doesn’t look cramped.
#5: Update your contact information.
If you just have your name and address, it’s time for an update. Your cell phone number and email, as well as a link to your LinkedIn profile, should be front and center instead.
#6: Use keywords.
Most companies today use an applicant tracking system to find candidates. So if you don’t use keywords from the job posting, you could get filtered out – even if you’re the right fit.