It’s not too early to start thinking about how you are going to approach your job search in the coming year and a great place to start is with your resume. Now is the perfect time to revitalize your resume to successfully land the job you are seeking. While many people take time off from their job search during the holidays you need to keep as busy as one of Santa’s elves if you want to be one step ahead of the crowd. Get your resume ready for this new year with a few easy suggestions.
Your resume should have a title that tells the reader what you do. This gives them their first idea of how you will fit into the role you are applying for so make sure you are customizing the title as much as possible to align with the job description. Throw in a few high-impact words along with your title. Are you a Sales Representative or are you a Performance-Driven Sales Leader? How about a City Manager or a Visionary City Management Specialist? A more descriptive title can set you apart from the other candidates that you are up against.
We can’t deny that we are a visually driven society; one that forms opinions and makes decisions based largely on appearances. The old advice of not judging a book by its cover makes sense, in theory; however in the world of resumes, few hiring managers are going to take the time to look past a bad resume format to see if the content proves to be what they are looking for. If you can’t remember the last time you updated your resume format or if you are still using an objective statement you should probably consider a format renovation. Everyone gets stuck in a rut and resume formats are no exception. Make a resolution to try something new with your format. Trends change as well as hiring managers’ expectations, take some time to research what the current standards are.
Using keywords, and using them correctly, is essential if you want to get your resume past the applicant tracking systems that so many companies use to screen resumes. This process makes it easier to narrow down applicants by specifying parameters that candidates must meet. One major component of the system is to identify keywords; if you don’t have these keywords you can be eliminated from the selection process before a human ever lays eyes on your resume. Using keywords that you’ve pulled directly from the job description can increase the chances of your resume making it through.
If you’ve been using the same resume to apply for every position make this new year the year of the customized resume. It will take a little more effort on your part but submitting a customized resume will pay off. Again, use the job description to align your resume with the requirements of the position. Change your title when necessary, highlight the skills that are applicable, and play up the aspects of your career history that are more relevant to the position.
Make this new year the best year ever for your job search by revamping your resume now. A few changes and updates can give your resume the edge you need to land your next job.
by Megan Koehler