Whether you are thinking about returning to the workforce, have been actively job searching for some time, or even if you are in a current role, your resume is your most important career document and should be up to date.
I know, I know, it’s one of those jobs we put off but if your resume isn’t up-to-date it can be a huge unwelcome task just when you need it.
Scene: You see an awesome job on Seek that you absolutely must apply for, but where the hell is your resume? You scan your laptop and eventually find an old version from 6 years ago that is out of date and needs updating. The closing date is in 2 days’ time and so you pull something together with a ‘That’ll have to do” and hope for the best! When this happens we usually rush the resume and end up not putting our best foot forward.
So when is the best time to update your resume…. Now!
Here’s Julie’s top 10 tips to keep in mind when updating your resume.
1.Keep It Professional
The resume is the key document that a potential employer is judging you by. It is also a business document. It is important therefore that the language and presentation are consistently professional. Avoid gimmicks, clichés, photos and unprofessional email addresses!
2.Target The Role
Tailoring the resume to the job role is critical to its success. Establish the key skills and experience that are being asked for within the job advert, then ensure these key words are reflected in yourresume. By using key words, it also means that commonly used Applicant Tracking Systems will pick you up in the initial selection process.
3.Prioritise Your Content
While the order of information in the resume is flexible, have key material on the front page. For example, if a critical requirement of the role is to hold a professional membership, then have this information readily available to the reader. Less important information can be swapped to the back pages.
This is your time to shine so don’t be modest. Your resume is your self-promotion brochure so sell yourself. If you don’t tell the employer how awesome you are, no one else will! Use positive persuasive language to enhance the resume.
5.Keep It Consistent
Be sure your resume is written in a common-sense way—in an order that is logical and easy to read. Be consistent throughout your resume with your margins, fonts, and line spacing.
6.Check Your Spelling, Grammar And Punctuation, Then Check Again!
Mistakes in these areas are easily picked up and harshly judged.
7.Keep It Brief
In reality, most resumes receive a maximum of 30 seconds of perusal time therefore we want them to be succinct. A resume will vary in length depending on years’ experience, seniority and industry but the maximum a resume should be is 4 pages, 2 or 3 is ideal with a 1-pager best for graduates and school leavers.
8.Remember Your Contact Info
Simple enough but easy to forget. Name, email address and phone number are essential, home address, LinkedIn profile link, and home phone number are optional. Never add your date of birth, marital status or your nationality. These are NOT required in nearly all cases.
Print out a copy of your draft resume to proofread. We pick up many more mistakes when we read a document on paper than we do on the screen. Ideally have someone else proofread the resume too to pick up on any mistakes that you miss.
Once you are happy with the final document be sure to save it as a PDF before you send off to potential employers. This will ensure that all formatting is fixed and doesn’t warp within differing versions of Word. It also stops anyone copying or editing the document once you have sent it.
Blue Sky Career Consulting provides professional resume and cover letter writing services to help take the strain out of perfecting your document. Plus we offer a special 10% discount to all Eastern Suburbs Mums!
If you’d like more information on this or any of our other services, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0498 133 334 for a no obligation quote.