If it’s been a few years since you were in the market for a new job, your resume needs a face lift. Looking for work is essentially a sales challenge, and a persuasive resume is one of your most powerful personal marketing tools. These five tips will help you refresh your resume and make it appealing to employers.
1. Update Your Achievements
Although it may seem obvious, it’s surprisingly easy to overlook your accomplishments in your current position. Instead of simply listing tasks, consider the skills you have acquired and the goals you’ve met since you started the job. Use action verbs, such as “increased,” “launched” and “negotiated” to describe your accomplishments, rather than “was awarded,” “was given” or other passive verbs.
2. Make Your Resume Job-Specific
In this era of online application protocols, it’s easy to create multiple versions of your resume. Since large companies often use resume screening software, your resume must pass an automated review or it won’t reach the hands of a human being. Closely read the job posting and jot down the skills and qualifications mentioned. Find a way to naturally work these exact words and phrases into your resume without making the wording sound stiff.
3. Focus on Numbers
Hiring managers look for solid evidence that you’ll be an asset to their organizations. Presenting quantified achievements is a good way to demonstrate your value. Forbes explains, “Instead of saying you added value to your sales team by your dynamic, results-driven efforts to proactively boost sales, say you improved every monthly sales target in the last six months by 40 percent.”
4. Update Your Design
Graphic presentation is important because it shows you’re familiar with contemporary trends. The entire digital universe is becoming increasingly visual, and your resume needs to convey that you’re a knowledgeable citizen of this online world. Do a Google search for “resume templates,” and find one that looks appealing without being gimmicky. Download the template and enter your information. If you want help creating a design for your resume, check out a service like Resume Edge.
5. Perform a Technology Check
Make sure your resume looks neat and attractive in both Word and PDF formats, since different organizations have different document requirements. Email both formats to a friend and ask him or her to verify that the attachment opens correctly and looks good. Keep a copy in plain text form, too, and cut and paste information from it into online application forms.
Although embarking on a job search is never easy, a dynamic, well-designed resume will give you a boost of confidence as you move toward the next step in your career.