Did you know that September is International Update Your Resume Month? That means today is a great day to start a fresh update on that outdated resume. Don’t know where to begin or what to include? No worries; we’ve got you covered with these 5 ways to ace your resume in today’s crowded market.
Ditch the Objective
The objective statement is outdated and needs to be removed from your resume. In it’s place put a well-focused summary of your accomplishments using action-focused words and adjectives. Make sure to highlight it with what you do right up top. For example, if you’re a senior marketing executive, put that up top and lead with it. If you’ve led teams of 50 and managed budgets of $20 Million (not necessarily in the same job), include that in your summary as well. Use powerful adjectives that truly describe you and avoid buzzwords. This is a focused, 3-4 sentence summary to entice the hiring manager or recruiter to read more of your resume.
The flow and design of your resume matter as much as the content does. If someone says they don’t, they’ve been out of the market for a while. Use crisp lines, appropriate margins, and today’s lingo as well. While you’re at it, remove old software programs, skills and competencies in favor of new, updated ones. Unless you’re a graphic designer, stick with your name instead of a logo and avoid colors other than black and white.
Check fonts, spelling and grammar
Avoid using wacky fonts and annoying ones (Comic Sans). Stick to traditional fonts such as Arial, Calibri, etc. Stick to at least 10pt. fonts as some of us, over 40, have a hard time seeing smaller ones (thanks). Make sure to always check spelling and grammar using your software program. As programs can miss words that are spelled correctly but may be the wrong word, print out your resume, read through it and look for other spelling errors. Then have 3 friends read through it for spelling and grammar mistakes and to ensure the flow works.
Boost your social media network
It’s now time to remove your physical mailing address from your resume. Keep your name, phone number, city/state and add your LinkedIn profile. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), 84% of employers recruit via social media and 43% screen job applicants through social networks and search engines. If you’re someone who keeps a relevant website, blog, and Twitter feed, include those links as well. If your site, blog and social feeds are off topic, for example, you’re in sales but your site and blog are about cooking, keep them off the resume.
Be specific in job descriptions
Can you relate if I say I’m a Master Certified Coach or do you want to know what that means? Does it help if I say I’ve coached over 6,000 clients and have more than 10,000 hours coaching? What if I add that I’ve coached clients across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia? Better, right? Now how about if I add client company names such as GM, Microsoft, IBM, Sara Lee, etc.? Those are all true by the way. Do you see how the more specific you are using facts, figures, and numbers provides details that people (e.g. employers and recruiters) respond to. Do the same for your jobs individually and keep it to 3-5 bullets each.