A new year tends to get a lot of people thinking about how they can improve themselves, whether personally or professionally. So we thought we’d help. Whether you’re actively looking for a new job, or just want to be prepared when a great opportunity comes along, it’s always a good idea to have an up-to-date resume on hand that’s professional and as effective as possible. We’ve put together a list of 8 simple things you can do to improve your current resume, no matter what industry you’re in.
Is your resume over two pages? If so, shorten it. The shorter your resume is, the more likely a hiring manager will actually make it through the whole thing. Cut out irrelevant work experience and swap out the long sentences in your descriptions with bullet points.
Add a summary
A resume summary is a way to quickly communicate your strongest skills and tell the hiring manager why you would be an asset to the company. At the top of your resume, briefly explain (in one-two sentences) what your skills are and why you are qualified for the job.
Keep it focused
This tip is only applicable if you are preparing your resume with a specific job in mind. When applying for a position, keep your resume as focused and relevant as possible. Don’t be afraid to cut out unrelated job experience. This will help shorten your resume (making it more likely to be read in full) and will better highlight how you are qualified for that specific position.
Make it skimmable
When faced with a large amount of text, the first thing most people do is skim, so make sure your resume is skimmable. Focus on the information you want the hiring manager to know, and when formatting your resume, make sure to use larger text and bolded fonts so all the most important details can be seen at a glance.
Get rid of jargon
While writing your resume, never assume that a hiring manager knows exactly what you’re talking about. Make sure that everyone can understand your resume by removing or clarifying any acronyms, abbreviations or references that some people may not understand.
When writing your descriptions for past work experience, use numbers and results anywhere you can. For example, instead of saying “was in charge of training new employees” say “successfully trained 50+ new employees.”
Make getting in touch easy
Put your contact information as a header on every page so the hiring agent can easily get in touch with you. Have a LinkedIn page? Share that on your resume as well!
Involve a friend
An extra set of eyes is always helpful for catching little mistakes such as spelling errors. Send your resume to a friend and have them edit it for you.