Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year’s Resume Resolutions

Is updating your resume on your list of resolutions for 2015? If your resume hasn’t been revamped in years, it probably should be. You’ve changed, and so should your resume. These tips will help you create a new resume that accurately reflects where you are in your career and life now.

  1. Start from scratch.
    Of course, you can still refer back to your original resume. However, tacking more onto it will likely make it messier than it already is, so start out with a blank page. This will allow you to create a new resume that looks and feels fresh. Your resume probably seemed awesome when you first created it, but now it’s likely stale because new resume trends have taken over.

  2. Make it visually engaging.
    There’s more competition for employment than ever, so you need a resume that stands out. A visually engaging resume goes a long way. Your objective should be clear and prominent at the top of the page so a recruiter can glance at it and know who you are and what you are seeking. Sticking to one page makes your resume easy to consume, and the most significant information should be listed first so it is not missed.

  3. Make sure it looks good on a computer screen.
    Nowadays, you are most likely to submit your resume online rather than printing it out. Word documents will not necessarily look the same in different versions of the program. Converting your resume to a PDF ensures that the formatting won’t get messed up.

  4. Don’t include irrelevant experience. Your resume should reflect your current career goals. You don’t need to feature every single job or project you’ve done in your life. Maximize the power of your resume by including your most relevant and impressive experience. Think about skills you have that are relevant to the career you want. The part-time food service job you worked in college is probably not necessary if you’ve since held professional positions in your field.

  5. Use the story telling approach. Don’t just list what your job responsibilities were. Describe what you actually did and how you did it. If your resume tells a story, a recruiter will better understand not just the roles you held but how you approached your job. Highlight what you accomplished at your company using specific details.

  6. Consider taking risks. All of these tips are about making your resume stand out, but if you really want to stand out, you may want to consider a non-traditional resume. There are a few types that are gaining popularity:
    • Video resumes consist of between one and five minutes in which you describe your skills and experience. Usually a video resume is a supplement to a paper resume, not a replacement.
    • Infographic resumes take “visually engaging” to the next level. You can use charts with real data to prove exactly how you’ve enacted change in your past positions.
    • Online portfolios are a great way to show examples of your work, especially if you are a writer or graphic designer. You can also link to your social media profiles like Twitter or LinkedIn, which is especially valuable for positions in media and marketing.
    (This step isn’t for everyone, and certain fields may be more receptive to non-traditional resumes than others. Do some research on trends that are specific to your industry; however, doing something that’s different from similar candidates may also give you an edge. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable with your resume—the more it reflects you, the more likely you are to find a job that is the right fit.)

Hopefully some of these tips will give you the inspiration you need to make a resume that will truly knock a recruiter’s socks off. Once you’ve created your new resume and are excited to share it, you’ll be able to approach your job hunt with new confidence.