In this economy, it’s absolutely essential to stand out among the hundreds of people who may be applying for the same position. Your resume can be what makes or breaks you, so it’s important to keep it up-to-date with the information employers want and need.
The last time you created a resume, chances are you were looking at a simple one-page document highlighting your work experience and education. This won’t cut it anymore. In addition to a resume document, you should also be embracing online networks like LinkedIn. This site allows you to present to a prospective employer not just your resume, but also portfolio examples of your work and recommendations from previous employers and coworkers with just a click. Since you will most likely be submitting your resume as an email attachment, make sure to include live links so that the person reviewing your resume can quickly move to your online profile.
2. Include all your information.
Remember the old rule about fitting all your information onto one page? That rule no longer holds true. Today’s worker likely has many years of experience, and you don’t want to sell yourself short. A resume of two to three pages is perfectly acceptable and often even necessary. Because the first page is the one that will be seen first, make sure that one has the most important information relevant to the job to which you are applying.
3. Watch your words.
Another piece of outdated resume advice is to use certain words such as “team player” and “problem solver” to describe yourself. Unfortunately, these days everyone else is also using those descriptives. Recently LinkedIn published a list of the most over-used words and phrases in resumes. The list includes such favorites as:
– Extensive experience
– Proven track record
– Fast paced
Rather than using such generic and vague terms, describe actual projects and results you have been involved in. If you can describe how much money you saved the company, even better.
4. Make a good first impression.
Like it or not, your resume is still going to be judged by the way it looks. It should look clean and professional, and should also imply that you know your way around a word-processing program. Most importantly, there should be no spelling or grammatical errors. A single spelling error is all it takes for your resume to be filed in the trash can. It might be helpful to have a professional resume service create your resume for you, as long as they follow the current rules. You may want to provide them with the information you want included and request that they simply design the document.
5. Create your brand.
What is your top skill? This is your brand. Don’t use phrases like “objective” or “summary” in your resume. Instead, boldly declare your skills, whether you are a “finance director” or a “marketing specialist.” Proudly state your name and your brand to help prospective employers quickly identify you. With the deluge of resumes that job openings often bring, the person looking them over may not have time to do more than quickly scan many of them. Make yours stand out and catch the eye of the person who is making the decisions that may determine your future.