You’ve heard the best time to update your resume is when you don’t need to. In fact, many career experts advise that you update it every couple of months to make sure you don’t forget to include your most-recent achievements, professional development, or quantifiable metrics. If you wait until you really need your resume, chances are you’ll have forgotten a lot of those important details, like the title of that big award or just how many employees you’ve trained since you started. Here’s how you can update your resume to prepare for your job search.
Use the ‘rule of three’
Long paragraphs are difficult to read and most hiring managers don’t spend more than a few seconds on each resume. So, reduce long paragraphs to three to four lines or less. And as you list your qualifications and accomplishments, have a minimum of three bulleted items under each subsection, but not more than five or six. Bullet points are used to attract the reader’s eye, and too many turn the reader away.
Omit outdated sections
You don’t need to include an Objective, Personal Affiliations, or state “references available.” Leave off any outdated skills, the names of old software programs, and examples of antiquated terms. Those are all hints to a potential employer that you might be a bit out of the loop. And in a competitive job market, you’ll need every advantage you can find.
Don’t add graphics
Leave off your headshots, photos, or other formatting. You want your accomplishments and experience to be what sets your resume apart from the rest of the competition, not graphics or pictures. These can be distracting and undermine the quality of your qualifications. Also, be sure to use a professional font, like Calibri, Times Roman, Arial, or Verdana to make sure your resume is anything but an eyesore.
Create a professional profile
You can remove the street address and instead, add links to social media. Most employers use social networks and search engines to screen candidates anyway, so you might as well direct them to what you want them to see. Make sure your online presence—website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages—are all clean and professional.
Highlight your accomplishments
Your accomplishments should be the main focus of your resume. They prove that you’re competent, capable, and maybe even exceptional. In your experience section, explain your responsibilities and use bullets to highlight your most important contributions and achievements.
Use keywords and look alive
Read through job descriptions again and make sure your skills and qualifications are echoing their requirements in every section of your resume. This way, your resume will pass through any automated screenings. Then show off your passion and enthusiasm for your job and your industry. Use powerful action verbs that underscore your effort and ability to be proactive.
For more tips on making sure you’ve crafted the perfect resume to help you land the job of your dreams, check out our website at Focus of Georgia.