If you’re looking to land a new role in the new year, refreshing your resume is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Reviewing and refining how you present yourself on paper will pay dividends. According to a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 39 percent of HR managers spend less than a minute initially looking at a resume. Nearly 1 in 5 spend less than 30 seconds.
If your resume has less than 60 seconds to make an impact, it’s smart to invest in a refresh to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
1. Finesse your format
An attractive, clean, clear and easy-to-read resume will help grab the reader’s attention. Luckily, thanks to the internet, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create a winning format.
Two of the go-to tools I recommend to my coaching clients are Standard Resume and ResumeMaker Online. Both are completely free to use, and both will allow you to easily update your resume in just a few clicks.
Standard Resume allows you to create and share a professional resume with no formatting required. You can choose your own unique resume URL address that can be shared via a link, or you can opt to download your resume as a PDF. ResumeMaker Online is a web app that allows you to create a clean, redesigned resume in real time. You can choose your preferred color and typography, manage sections, adjust paper size, preview your resume in 3D and download your resume as a PDF.
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2. Amplify your achievements
Make sure to choose achievements that are most in line with the target position’s main responsibilities and your prospective employer’s core values. Everything you share should track back to what the hiring manager is looking for in their ideal candidate.
From a hiring manager’s perspective, the strongest accomplishments are quantifiable and measurable. For example, including dollar amounts, percentages, timespans or volume are impactful ways to quantify your achievements on a resume.
3. Showcase your skills
The most effective way to convey your hard and soft skills is to make sure they clearly align with the job description you’re targeting. This is vital because hiring managers screen resumes for keywords that match the core skills required for the role they’re recruiting for.
You’ll significantly increase your chances of an interview by incorporating keywords and phrases that describe your skills, based on the requirements for the type of job you are targeting.
4. Keep it concise
Generally, your resume should be no longer than one page, or two pages max. Remember, you don’t need to detail your entire work history. Only include experience that demonstrate skills which will relate directly to the position you’re applying for.
If you’ve been working for a decade or more, generally, it is reasonable to go back 10 – 15 years in your work history. If you have an extensive career, you can divide your work history into two sections, such as “recent” and “relevant,” or include a separate section that summarizes any relevant prior experience.
Finally make you sure you’ve avoided all of the usual deal-breakers – typos, poor grammar, lack of quantifiable results and long paragraphs of text. Don’t run a spell check and then call it a day. Take time to print out and proofread your new resume to make sure everything flows and to catch any errors, repetition or formatting mistakes.
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