As we head into the new year (come on 2021, play nice please!) we’re often reflecting on and re-evaluating many areas of our life, including what we want from our careers.
It’s the perfect time to get all the ‘tools’ in your career kit ready and refreshed for change and opportunity. Here are my top tips to help review and update your resume for more impact.
1) A very simple one, when formatting do not put your contact details in headers or footers. Applicant Tracking Systems may not be able to read this information and you can become destined for application exile. The same can apply for information in tables, text boxes and graphics.
2) Generic resumes that appear to have been sent out willy-nilly with no consideration of the audience really get a recruiters’ goat. Mine too! Each resume should be tailored to the targeted position. This includes positioning yourself quickly and with clarity from the outset, based on what the role requires.
Who? Director – Sales and Operations (Telecommunications)
What? Driving business transformation and igniting profit, performance and growth
How? Recent impact in building and driving sales growth strategies to generate multi-million-dollar revenue for telecommunications companies in Australia and internationally…
- Achievement 1
- Achievement 2
Clarity. Impact. Evidence. WOW.
3) Keep typeface simple and clean – stick with a sans serif like Arial, Calibri (forget Times New Roman though – super outdated!) and use the same throughout. Use bold, colour, shading etc. to draw the eye to headings and important points.
4) “Mirror” the job posting language in your resume. A good starting point? Copy and paste the job advertisement / description to a Word document, and physically highlight industry terms, buzzwords and skills it uses, and ‘pepper’ your summary, skills section and experience with the same – so long as it is in the context of your ACTUAL skills and experience as they apply to the role (don’t be telling porky pies!)
5) Spellcheck and spellcheck again! Reading your resume backwards is a weird and wonderful way to pick up on errors you may otherwise miss.
With all that said, my final piece of advice? Responding to advertised vacancies online is just one piece of the job search puzzle. Job postings can be a useful research tool in your job hunt, but if you rely on them as your sole strategy (and especially without applying the above) you are going to have a long and painful search.
Knowledge is power, and if you are not getting any bites, I want you to know why, and to adapt. To truly take control of your search, you will need to define and narrow your target (what does your ideal role look like? What are your coveted companies?) Once that is clear, you can tailor and create a powerful professional brand through your resume and LinkedIn and redirect your time and energy into more high return activities.
If I can help you refresh your resume for the new year, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
By Bec O’Connor