As careers progress and our daily lives get busy, professionals are more inclined to simply build upon their current resume rather than modify the resume in its entirety each time they revisit it for a new position. In this case your resume may actually become a hindrance to your job search without you realizing it. New positions you have held just pile up at the top of your resume and the rest is overlooked.
As a job seeker remind yourself that while you are applying for a single position so are hundreds of other job seekers. In addition, keep in mind that every resume and application received has to be looked at on the other end and that takes time. With the quantity of inbound applications and resumes received on a daily basis for a single job posting, your odds of moving forward as a potential candidate drastically decreases without a stand out resume.
When is the last time you took time to sit down and revisit your entire resume? Check out these 10 tips to help you create a resume that will stand out among your competition.
1. The goal of your resume is to help you get a job interview. Your resume should be an advertisement that presents you in the best possible light. It is NOT a job application. It is not a confessional. Stick to what makes you look good.
2. The content of your resume is not just about past jobs. It’s about you and what you’ve achieved in your career. Dwell on the accomplishments that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.
3. Instead of starting your resume with responsibilities included; try changing it to accomplishments.
4. Always include your job objective. It shows a sense of direction. State your objective clearly and succinctly. Leave out the fluff.
5. Use a chronological order rather than a functional format. The chronological format is preferred by employers and works well if you’re staying in the same field and can show upward mobility. If you’re changing fields, then a functional, skill-oriented format will help show that your skills are transferable.
6. Don’t have experience in your chosen field? Get some! Many companies will allow you to do volunteer work to get the necessary experience. You can volunteer one day a week. This gives you some practical work experience to put on your resume.
7. Gaps in your work experience are red flags to interviewers. Try to fill those gaps as honestly as possible but keep it simple and to the point. For example, if you stayed home to raise your children, traveled or went back to school, try:
2015 – 2019: Full-time parent or
2015 – 2019: Full-time student
2015 – 2019: Travel
8. Make your resume specific to each job you’re applying for. Structure your job objectives to the goals of each job. A targeted resume is much stronger and effective than a generic resume.
9. Did you have a few years where you jumped to several different jobs? Group them to show consistency. For example:
2016 – 2018: Secretary/Receptionist – Smith Electronics, Micro Data, Dalton Inc.
10. If your job title didn’t really reflect your level of responsibility, replace it with a more appropriate title. You can also combine the two if you prefer: Administrative Assistant (Office Manager).