If you’re looking to land yourself in a new, exciting and challenging role for 2018 then it’s a good time to start looking now. Since we’ve passed the mid-year, you better get cracking on that goal now so that before 2017 ends you’ve given yourself ample time to start at a new company and get comfortable with their environment. However, before you start circulating your resume all over the place, are you certain your resume is still relevant and attractive in 2017?
While your resume may be loaded with quality experience and skills that flash you as a great talent, yours won’t be the only one out there in the talent pool. Believe me, you’re up against some stiff competition. If you’re seriously looking to land yourself in a new job this year you’ll make the effort to have your resume stand out from the crowd. To do that you’ll need to work on your current resume and present it in a manner that’s attractive in 2017 for just about any recruiter or organization. Here are 8 tips that can help you achieve this.
1. Use the Top Wisely
The top one-third of your resume is the most eye catching portion. It’s what gets noticed first and the most. And you only have three seconds of your audience’s attention to make it count. That’s why the top of your resume should be the biggest attention grabber of all. It should speak volumes of who you are, what you’ve achieved and what you’re capable of. Though your first instinct would be to cram in as much of that useful information, the trick is to be just the opposite. Your content should be concise and crisp.
2. Scrap the Objectives for a Stellar Summary
Still hanging on to the “objectives” section that you wrote at the start of your career? Well scrap it! Your future employer isn’t interested in how they can progress your career. It’s about what you can do for them. And that’s best said in a summary of your achievements, attributes and what makes you a valuable talent. Think about your LinkedIn summary and replicate that into your resume. In essence, what you’re aiming for is to sell your brand.
3. Numbers Speak More than Subjective Jargon
When you’re elaborating on your work experience, avoid listing out titles, responsibilities and mundane (if not monotonous) descriptions of everything you did for your past employers. Leave the elaborate and detailed explanations of your past experience for the interview. Your resume should be showcasing relevant facts and figures. If you really want to stand out as a “catch talent” flaunt your achievements with numbers. List out the unique contributions you made with your previous employers and what the resulting impact was. Numbers are easier to read and understand and they’ll prove you did much more than what the job description expected of you.
4. Flaunt Your Skills
To really get your resume noticed have a section on the top where you can boast about your skill sets. Your skills give you substance and weightage. It tells your potential new employer what you bring along as a talent. It also differentiates you from the rest and makes you all the more appealing to employers and recruiters. But there’s a trick to this that’s pivotal for it to work. For every position you apply to, make sure your skills are relevant, targeted and mirroring the requirements of the vacancy. Using the same skills for every job application won’t necessarily work in your favor. However, remember to be honest about what you claim to be your skill (getting caught can seriously hurt your recruitment prospects).
5. Trim the Fat
Readers of your resume should find it easy to walk through your work history and experience. While you may be tempted to include everything you ever did after university, those internships and part-time jobs really won’t impress anyone (unless you’re just starting off your career). Try trimming down to a single page resume and focusing purely on experience that goes back to 10 years at most, unless of course it’s essential and has much weight attached to it. Also, try to make your work experience relevant to the position you’re applying for. This may even mean that you’ll have to customize your resume for every application, but if that helps you land a job then why not.
6. Stay Away from Boring Language
Probably the most boring terms to add in your resume are “hardworking” and “result-oriented”. Yet, and not surprisingly, thousands of resumes all have these and similar terms. Believe me when I tell you, everyone’s hardworking and result-oriented. Every other candidate you’re up against will also claim they’re “fast learners” and “team players”. Recruiters and hiring managers are so bored of these terms that they’ll simply look passed them and probably even overlook your resume as well. To make your resume is attractive in 2017 you’ll stay away from all such boring language and instead choose terms that help you stand out from the crowd (refer to tip #3).
7. Don’t Overstate or Exaggerate
Some of us get a little overzealous when it comes to boasting about ourselves. I get it, you want to appear smarter, more talented and more skilled than the other candidates out there. But, overstating or exaggerating what you know and what you’ve achieved will hurt your chances more than it’ll be helpful. Even if you’re able to slip by with these claims during your interview, there’s a good chance somewhere down the line your lies may get caught. That’s when you’ll kick yourself and admit it wasn’t worth it. It’s best you stick to the truth and the facts.
8. Change That Filename
By now if you’ve followed the tips above your resume should be looking quite attractive. There’s just one thing left for you to do before you send it out to the world. Something which usually gets overlooked and yet is so very important. You need to change that filename. Recruiters and hiring managers can get seriously put off by filenames that have dates (for your own version control), random names (your nickname or otherwise), and everything else you add to your resume’s filename. Plus it makes it harder for them to search which means you’ll lose out. Your resume’s filename should employ a simple format like this: “[Your First Name][Your Last Name][Resume]”. So if your name is John Doe, the filename should be “JohnDoeResume”. If you really want to stand out and earn some points, add in the company’s name as well so it appears to them you’ve customized your resume for them.
Done incorporating these tips to make your resume appear relevant and attractive in 2017? Great, now add a stellar cover letter and you’re all set to take on an exciting new role.