When you submit a resume, you have very little time to make a good impression. Some studies show that you can have as little as six seconds to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Is your resume built to compete in this high-pressure atmosphere?
If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. As the weather warms and spring cleaning tasks start to show up on your to-do list, make sure updating your resume becomes a priority as well.
But what should you focus on? What changes will make the most difference? Here are five easy changes to make as you look to spring clean your resume:
Target Appropriate Keywords
You don’t just need to impress hiring managers and HR staffers. There’s another type of intelligence that will decide if you move forward in the hiring process: computers. As such, you need to take steps to gear your document to AI algorithms.
In practice, this means optimizing your resume for the proper keywords. The precise terms to include will depend on your industry and sometimes on the specific job. Your task is to guess the likely focus of the resume-screening software.
Start by researching common keywords for your industry. Update your resume to include as many of those as possible. Then, for individual positions, use the job posting to make educated assumptions about the terms that a particular employer would like to see.
Update Your Work History
You create an online dating profile. It works, and you find yourself in a relationship. A couple of years down the road, you break up, and suddenly you need to return to your long-ignored dating apps. However, now everything is out of date, from your pictures to your basic information—time for an update.
Your resume works much the same way. Once you get a job you love, your resume generally disappears from your consciousness. And, once you need it again, most of the information is out of date.
It’s probably bad form to continually update your dating profile while you’re in a relationship. But don’t be afraid to keep your resume up to date. Create new line items for skills and experiences as you add them while they are fresh in your mind. That way, when it’s time to launch a job search, you already have the info in place to start immediately.
Purge Unnecessary or Redundant Information
While you’re adding new info to your resume, get rid of the old stuff.
When you were searching for your first job out of school, your resume probably focused on academic achievements and extracurricular activities. You didn’t have much else to brag about. As your career moves on, however, these experiences become irrelevant. And, by mid-career, even your first few jobs become old news.
Look over your resume to ensure that everything listed has a bearing on your current career plans. Cut anything that seems out of date or beside the point. That way, hiring managers can focus on the details that put you in the best light.
Each position represents a unique opportunity. Your resume should be flexible enough to maximize your chances in every instance. Build that elasticity into the design of your document.
Consider the resume you are creating a master template. It will represent your starting point once you find a position you want to apply for. Then, for each individual situation, tailor the resume to the specific role. That way, you’ll maximize your chances of landing each job you apply for.
Give an Aggressive Proofread
Present the best first impression possible. That means a complete lack of spelling errors, typos, punctuation mistakes, and grammar embarrassments. Once you make all your other changes, look over your resume with the proverbial microscope, making sure everything is perfect.
At the same time, look for cosmetic upgrades. From the format to the language used, make sure your document captures attention and delivers your information as efficiently as possible.
A great resume lets you get the most out of the opportunities presented to you. Meanwhile, teaming with a top recruiter, like SmartTalent, lets you locate the best opportunities.
Contact SmartTalent today to accelerate your career development.