The start of the new year is the perfect opportunity to freshen up your resume and be prepared for new opportunities whether you’ve resolved to finding a new job in 2018 or a new opportunity presents itself when you least expect it. The new year is also a great time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. You’re sure to have had some accomplishments over the past year and you want to make sure they are represented on your resume.
Many times your resume is the first and sometimes the only thing a prospective employer sees when deciding whether or not to interview you for a position. That means your resume has to make a great first impression. Did you know that recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds scanning a candidate’s resume before deciding whether he or she is a good fit for the position? 80% of that six seconds is looking at these five things: name, current title and company; previous title and company; start and end dates for current and past positions, and education. The remainder of that scan time is spent looking for keywords that matched the open position. So if your resume isn’t in an updated format, with clear and concise content, you may not grab the recruiter’s attention and miss out on the opportunity to interview for the job!
No one needs to be reminded that competition for jobs is fierce – some jobs receiving hundreds of applicants. It’s essential that your resume makes you irresistible to hiring managers and sets you apart from your competition. Your resume needs to tell a prospective employer what you bring to the table that other candidates may not.
If you’re ready to refresh your resume for 2018, we’ve compiled a list of basic tips to make your resume stand out and land that job interview from this Fox Business article as well as this Time article.
- Design matters – Make sure your resume is eye-catching and easy to read.
- Move the good stuff to the top – This goes back to that first impression thing.
- List your name and contact info. A mailing address is no longer necessary but be sure to include your LinkedIn address. Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to fill positions so a LinkedIn profile is a must. Now is the time to make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and contains relevant information for the job you are seeking. LinkedIn is a necessary tool for finding a job these days and we share ways to use LinkedIn to find a job here.
- Objective statements are a thing of the past and instead, you should write a summary statement which states why you are the best person for the job.
- If you can get your resume down to one page that is great, but it’s not necessary. The important thing is that you grab the attention of a recruiter or prospective employer at the top of your resume with your summary and list the most relevant information front and center and on the first page for sure.
- Remove old jobs – List the most recent 10 to 15 years of your career history and include the experience relevant to the positions for which you are applying.
- Focus on keywords – Words are important! These days companies use applicant tracking systems to scan resumes to help narrow down the field of candidates. Make sure you are using keywords and skills from the job posting so that your resume stays in the running. And consider using these words to convey your leadership abilities and get noticed.
- Be selective – Rather than cramming your resume with every job you’ve ever had, choose to focus on the roles most relevant to the one you are applying for. And instead of listing responsibilities, try to be specific and provide examples of accomplishments you’ve made.
Whether you are actively job searching or not, an updated and refreshed resume is something you should always have at the ready. Use the basic tips above to get started and consider making these quick changes as well and you’ll be well on your way to a resume that shares your story.
Here’s to finding the job of your dreams in 2018!
Photo by Sebastian Davenport-Handley