The right ways to update a résumé – The job market can be competitive, as new graduates flood the field each and every year. But graduation season is not the only time of year when the competition to find work gets heated.
The start of the new year tends to be one of the busiest times of year for new hires. According to the employment resource Simply Hired, the first Monday after New Year’s Day tends to be the busiest day for job search activity. Companies are returning to full production after the holidays, and as a result there is a flurry of new activity. This means applicants can use the last quarter of the year to prepare for job searches they will institute once the calendar turns.
Did you know that September is
International Update Your Résumé Month?
Many job seekers may benefit from revamping their résumés before beginning their search. It’s not uncommon for recruiters to receive thousands of résumés for each job opening they post, and the sheer volume of applicants can make it difficult for job seekers to get their résumés seen. In such instances, job seekers must take steps to tip the odds in their favor. By following these guidelines, job seekers may have a better chance of getting their résumés into the right hands.
When professionals are ready to take a new step in their careers, it’s wise to revisit their old résumés and see what can be done to update them for the current day and age. This is especially true for people who may have been out of the job-seeking arena for some time.
Writing a résumé can be complicated. The rules for finding a new job are continually evolving, and résumés remain a big component of that process. The following are some current résumé trends that will help professionals stand out from the masses.
· Put a professional purpose. Modern standards may suggest that listing a career “objective” is old fashioned. However, it is helpful to customize your résumé so that it is geared toward the position for which you are applying. A career objective may reflect how you are a strong candidate for each specific job you apply for. Use some specifics that tie into to the particular job or company and you may catch the hiring manager’s attention in the process.
· Embrace keywords. Many employers now use application tracking software to sift through the scores of résumés that are submitted for each opening they post. Keywords make it easy for employers to sort through thousands of résumés. The right keywords will flag your résumé and increase your “relevancy score” in the main HR/recruiting software programs available. Adapt your résumé for each application you submit. Use some of the words listed in the initial job posting and description. In addition, look at similar job postings and incorporate some keywords listed in those ads so that you have all the bases covered.
· Consider design: Design your résumé so it will look good whether it’s viewed on a screen or a mobile phone or printed on paper. Classic serif style fonts can make a résumé seem dated, so select modern fonts that are crisp. The idea is for the résumé to look balanced and clear, without being overdone with modifications, like italics and bold lettering. However, a spot of color could provide much-needed attention.
· Trim the fat / Be brief yet effective. Less is often more regarding résumés. List all of the pertinent information, then go over the résumé again and again and cut out any irrelevant information to remove clutter. Only include information that is relevant to your career goals. A concise design is key. Many recruiters spend little to no time reviewing the hordes of résumés they receive. In fact, automated résumé bots may initially screen the documents to thin the crowd. According to data from the 12th annual Mystery Job Candidate survey by CareerXRoads, the average recruiter spends six seconds looking at a résumé. If a résumé is lengthy or doesn’t attract attention, it will likely be ignored. Stick to a single-page and make sure wording is brief but meaty.
· Highlight what you have done. Rather than listing every job responsibility and position in chronological order, use a résumé to highlight specific career accomplishments. This is a time to be your biggest fan and tell the world all of the great things you have accomplished. Remember to include evidence to back up the claims. According to a 2015 survey by CareerBuilder, employers say that résumés that include links to a candidate’s portfolio, website or blog garner more attention than résumés without such links.
· Put your own voice in the résumé. Rather than using standard verbiage on your résumé, personalize what you want to say. Hiring managers want to hire a human, not a machine. When speaking about yourself, be sure to use strong action words that define your skills even further. HR professionals cite terms like “managed,” “achieved” and “improved” as examples of positive, assertive words.
· Keep juicy details up top. Format the résumé so the most pertinent information is within the top one-third of the document. Beef up a summary statement and use it in lieu of an objective. Make sure that summary includes keywords that promote your skills and experience to potentially lure the recruiter into reading more.
· Tweak job titles. Mimic phrasing from the job listing to beat the bots and get résumés flagged for review. Slightly change job position titles so they mirror the wording used. For example, if a recruiter is looking for a “financial account manager,” and you have the experience, list your title as something like “Senior manager of new financial accounts.”
· Who you know. Landing a new job is often about what you know, but getting a foot in the door is also largely influenced by who you know. Include any professional groups to which you belong or alumni associations. Who knows? The recruiter may have the same alma mater, and you can bond over your shared mascot.
Updating a résumé with the goal of standing out among a crowded pool of applicants is a great way for job seekers to land a new job.
Plus keywords, phrasing, formatting, and having the right skills for the job can ensure a résume is seen by a recruiter, and perhaps even lead to a new career.
What other tips do you have to help a person with their résumé?
Feel free to share in the comments below.
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