The words time to update your resume is not something most people want to hear. Think back on when was the last time you refreshed your resume?
Here are some quick tips to ensure your resume remains competitive in the job market:
Type of resume
First, choose which type of resume suits you and your industry. There are three types of resumes:
- Chronological – Highlights the companies you have worked for, your tenure and key responsibilities. Recruiters usually prefer the traditional chronological format, where you list your current or most recent job and then move backwards.
- Functional – Places emphasis on marketable and transferrable skills rather than your work history. This works exceptionally well if you are changing industries, entering the workforce, or have had a career gap.
- Combination – This one focuses upon relevant achievements and key responsibilities rather than providing a overview of your career.
Remember, resumes allow recruiters and employers to view your work history and skills efficiently. Regardless of the format you choose, your resume should read a maximum of 2-3 pages.
The goal of your resume is to motivate a recruiter to call you.
- Make sure your phone number and professional email address is updated at the top of your resume
- Consider adding a link to your website or your LinkedIn profile
- Write a succinct summary statement. It has to have changed since you last looked at your resume. State what you want out of the role, combined with what you can bring to a team
- Review your work history, skills, key responsibilities and achievements
- Tailor your resume to the position you are applying for, but tell the truth
- Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile speak the same language. No recruiter likes to be left wondering what is the truth
- Rather than writing ‘references available upon request’ just leave it blank if you aren’t comfortable sharing details. Recruiters only call references once they have interviewed you
- Save your resume with your full name, so that it’s easier to identity
- Always ask a friend to proof read your resume to remove any jargons and typos
Modern resume design
- Opt for a clean, simple layout with white space, white margins
- Consider adding a pop of colour in the headings
- Font should be a common and legible one. Calibri or Arial size 10-12 is standard
- Use easy-to-skim bullet points
- Start each bullet with a strong action verb and quantify results.
- Remain professional. Adding too much flair makes it hard for applicant tracking systems (ATS) to read your resume
ATS friendly resumes
Most companies today use applicant tracking systems of some kind to scan and filter incoming resumes. The ATS then forwards and shortlists only the best ‘fit’ resumes. Remember that ATS algorithms look for specific keywords, especially the one’s in the job description. To increase the likelihood of getting shortlisted, incorporate the skills that come up more than once in the job description.
Whether you are on the job hunt or not, it pays to have your updated LinkedIn profile ready as well.
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