Whether you’re a new grad, an experienced worker, unemployed and looking for work, mom or dad returning to the work force or someone simply looking to get out of a dead end job; here are 5 quick ways to spruce up your resume to maximize your potential for getting the job you’ve been vying for.
- Find a resume template that’s not from the Windows 98 era. There are a ton of resume/CV templates that are available online for free. Take some time to consider looking at what type of work you are currently doing and what type of work you are applying for. If you are a design student looking to work for a marketing firm, it’s safe to say that your resume can be a bit more daring and out there. If you are a lawyer looking for work at a court house, your resume might need to be a bit more tame. That being said, the amount of templates out there are endless and finding one that fits you and your style will help your potential employer get that first glimpse of who they plan to hire.
- Highlight the right content for your situation. If you’re someone that has been switching from job to job, or someone that’s been out of the work force for a period of time, you may want to consider using a resume that highlights skills rather than your employment experience. Picking the right content to highlight in your resume can greatly increase your chances of a new prospective career simply because you took the time to make sure you weren’t selling yourself short.
- Trim the fat. Get rid of anything from the 2000’s and earlier. It’s been almost 20-30 years and if that stuff is still on your resume you are hoarding old skills and experience. This casts a shadow on any new experience you may have garnered and typically doesn’t work in your favour. If it is something that is significant, take the time to use the resume format that highlights skill (refer to point 2) rather than the job experience one.
- Put your education at the end of your resume. Say what? I know, I know… we all spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get those letters behind our names and you want to highlight that! However, if you are applying for a job that requires an education, your employer will have already assumed that you have what it takes and that you would’ve self-vetted yourself if you didn’t! Education is important but in an age where everyone and their dog has a degree, you have to showcase your abilities in your skills and experience. This is what will make you unique and stand out.
- Make your resume unique to each place and job you are applying to. If you aren’t currently in high school, take the time to cater your resume to each position you apply to. This showcases that you are sincerely interested in that particular position with that specific company because you have that “exact” skill they are looking for. Your prospective employer will be able to pick that out among the language and bullet points that you have included. This is generally much more effective than printing off or digitally sending 100 generic resumes and seeing who will contact you back.
- BONUS TIP: Make sure you have included a cover letter for each position you apply to. Similar to the last point, the personalization of each letter will allow you to make that positive and lasting first impression on your potential employer. This is also your opportunity to demonstrate to them that you took the time to research their company and the position for which you are applying.
Writing a resume is often times tedious and stressful. The hope is that by applying these concepts it will make things a little easier during our current economic downturn. Remember, if you work harder and smarter upfront you won’t have to work as hard later on. The right resume with the right tone will give you that much more pull when your prospective employer is looking over the hundreds of resumes that they receive. Good luck!