The best part of a New Year? We all get a chance at a fresh start. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or simply considering it, it’s handy to keep your resume updated, reflecting key skills and achievements in the past year.
Here are some tips to effectively improve your resume so that when the time comes you’re able to successfully land the right job:
1) Give your resume design and layout a makeover
An eye-catching layout instantly makes your application stand out. It’s like an interview or first date where you’re eager to make a good impression. Opt for a professional theme and layout, one that maximises available space without making your resume look cluttered. Adding a small dose of colour is an easy way to spice things up without putting off the reader. Using icons in addition to headers also helps.
Instead of the standard Arial and Times New Roman fonts, put some thought into your resume’s typography as a clean, sleek font enhances presentation.
2) Update contact information and boost your social profile
By keeping your contact information updated, recruiters or hiring managers can contact you easily via phone or email.
An active online presence speaks volume to your potential employer as well. Increasingly, employers are screening job candidates through social networks and search engines.. So, include links to your social pages, personal blog and website. Just make sure that people who are searching for you online will have a positive first impression.
3) Start each section with information that is most important and impressive
Employers and recruiters receive hundreds of applications for a position and you have mere seconds to capture their attention.
Kickoff your CV with the most impressive and important information about yourself. Some key points to include are: a powerful and descriptive professional branding statement, a keyword-rich professional summary, and highlights of achievements and honors. Also, place your most important and measurable accomplishment as the very first bullet under each position in your professional experience section.
4) Concise is key
A resume is usually scanned, not read. If you have not updated your resume for years, it probably needs an overhaul. It’s crucial to tell your story visually and with words. The modern resume favours bullet lists of responsibilities and accomplishments over long paragraphs. Where possible, describe your role in terms of accomplishments that showcase your strengths. A listicle of responsibilities is all well and fine, but it only shows the reader your job description, not how you performed.
Don’t feel you have to describe in detail every last job in your resume. Information from a decade ago or your intern days can be left out, unless it really highlights your skills and qualifications.