Whether you are making a career transition or are on the hunt for a new job, giving your resume a quick overhaul is very beneficial. A resume is a crucial first impression, and as cliche as it may sound, a first impression can make or break your chances for an interview. Therefore, it never hurts to refresh your resume, especially if you are actively seeking a new position.
Here are some easy ways to update your resume, ensuring that you are putting your best foot forward.
Never underestimate the power of proofreading. Just when you feel that your resume is perfect, beware of a misplaced comma or a bullet point that did not catch your attention. Although these details seem menial, a prospective employer will take note of these seemingly insignificant errors. Have someone with a fresh eye take a look at your resume. Details that you missed will stand-out to someone reviewing your resume for the first time. If you cannot quickly recruit a friend for a proofread, run your document through an automated proofreader like Grammarly. It will not only pick up on syntax errors but also check for misplaced punctuation. Hiring a resume coach may also help if you are just starting out in your career or changing industries.
Make sure it is up to date
Updating your resume on an ongoing basis means it is always current, including accurate contact information, and a portfolio URL (if applicable). Additionally, consider editing out experience prior to the last 10-15 years, or experience that you no longer feel is relevant to your current job search. Finally, name your file properly so that when an employer downloads it, it does not simply read “resume.” A great first impression is in the details, and simple improvements like these give you a running start.
3. Less is More
Edit where you can, add infographics to support the style and convey the key information visually. Choose a font size that is professional and easy to read, avoid bright, distracting colors and format your resume in a way that is easy to skim, with bolded subheadings and ample white space, to allow the eye to comfortably move through each section.
Tailor your resume to the job you are looking for
Many people underestimate the importance of tailoring their resumes and cover letters to the position they are applying for. Job listings use key skills that employers need, so use those keywords if these are skills in your arsenal. Many applicant tracking systems use SEO and Keywords to scan a resume, so be sure to make yours SEO friendly.
Quantify your experience and make job progression clear
Employers look for applicants who will impact their business in a concrete way, whether that means increasing sales or generating greater engagement. By quantifying your experience, you provide evidence of your ability to do just that. Using data and action verbs such as “improved”, “increased” or “grew” shows employers that you can be an asset to their business. In the same regard, employers want to see that you have progressed in your career and have built on your own experiences. Therefore, showing a clear upwards career progression, such as promotions or positions with increasing responsibility and leadership illustrates your ability to grow.
So remember, a quick resume update is one of the simplest, yet most important actions you can take towards furthering your career. You always have a few minutes to ensure you are making the best first impression possible.