Resumes are often the only connection you have with potential employers and can be the sole opportunity to get your foot in the door. Applying for a new job can be stressful and difficult to stand out in the sea of applicants. Technology has only increased that pressure with applicant tracking systems (software) doing most of the initial scanning. Mia Share’s Career Hub has loads of resources from career advisors to a library of career-specific articles, that will help you remove all questions from future job applications. The job search process changed considerably in 2020 due to COVID-19, since there were no in-person interviews and job searches were conducted online. With these constant shifts, it is important to keep your resume up-to-date even if your skills have only slightly changed.
Here are 5 ways to quickly boost your resume to have a big impact:
- Tailor your Resume. Every job is different and employers are looking for varying job responsibilities. It is important to highlight the areas of importance noted in the job description. When applying for positions, bring attention to the qualifications you have that reflect the duties of your potential job. If you are applying to a position as an executive assistant, you want to emphasize your organizational skills and comprehension of computer software. Often, we wish to convey all our skills that may not be necessary or applicable to the current application. Swap out your current skillset for keyword-rich phrases.
- Remove Outdated Phrases. Basic skills such as “great communicator” or “highly motivated” are great qualities to have, but these keywords lack industry knowledge and seem out of touch with current standards. Change those boring action words for something more compelling such as conducted, installed, drafted, or programmed. These words are more descriptive of job responsibilities relating to your experience, instead of all-encompassing and vague.
- Make Your Experience Easy to Read. Employers usually skim through hundreds of resumes when hiring, so, you want to capture their attention in a matter of seconds. Rather than using large blocks of text, condense your previous experience to a limited amount of bullet points. Each bullet point should contain a balance of quantifiable achievements and the skillset that makes you the right fit. Some examples of quantifiable data would be, “certified by American Welding Society” for a welder’s position or “installed over 100 desktop computers during a company-wide upgrade” for an IT role.
- Remove Your Objective Statement. If you are submitting an application, it is safe to say you are looking for a position in that field of work. While it was once common practice to include this section, try replacing it with a summary statement instead. Recruiters will glance over your resume for something that stands out and makes you pop. The top section that belonged to the objective summary should be updated to include a brief overview of your experience and top skills. This changes the tone of the resume from “what I want out of a job” to “here’s what I can do for you.”
- Choose a Clean Layout. There are small changes that can be implemented in your resume that do not require a rewrite. The first look at your resume should show a clean and organized layout, so recruiters can easily review it. Let go of the idea that Times New Roman is the go-to font. Change your resume to a cleaner font such as Arial or Calibri, which makes it easier for the eye to read. Apply a 10-12 pt size to your text and a bold, 12-14 pt size to your headers to make them stand out. Add spacing between your job experiences to clearly mark the end of a section. Remember: not everything needs to be included in your resume. Making your resume in single-page format makes it more likely to be read. Older resumes are made in Microsoft Word and have little flare. If you are applying to a more modern company, try out some of these templates to get you started with a resume that will surely make you stand out!
These five tips may seem simple but they are sure ways to boost your resume and get you more interviews. You have the knowledge and expertise and Mia Share can provide the resources to start looking. Don’t worry you will get the opportunity to show your true value during the interview process!