Whether you’re applying for your first graduate position, being referred for a job or it’s just time for a career change, a polished resume is vital to helping you stand out from the crowd. Think about your resume as a constant work in progress. Every role, career step, standout achievement and qualification should be included to highlight your unique skills to potential employers. After all, it’s your career on a page.
While giving yourself enough time to perfect your resume is really important, sometimes opportunities arise, and we need to make a few changes to make that looming application deadline. Here are six simple steps to help make it happen.
Are you easy to contact?
Make sure your contact details are up to date. It seems simple, but remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for the hirer manager to get in contact with you. Include your full name and address details and your mobile and email information. Keep your email address professional. Sometimes setting up a separate email for career purposes can be a great way to channel job alerts, applications and recruitment newsletters. If you have a LinkedIn profile, online portfolio or professional website, add these in too.
Finesse the formatting
Some fonts can look dated over time. Use a basic font that is easy to read on paper and screen. Fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial and Tahoma are very common options. Even some software programs prefer basic fonts over more complicated ones. Keep your resume under two pages, ensuring the font size is reasonable. By keeping the font and formatting basic, this will help convey your natural tone of voice.
Curate your resume
Just like a cover letter, make sure your resume reflects the key attributes, qualifications and keywords in the job description. This will help attract talent acquisition managers and recruitment software bots to pick up key terms. You can also lean on industry websites and newsletters to help weave in the right terminology.
Make sure you’ve added your most recent work experience and remove any details or prior job roles (such as junior ones) which may not be relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Some points are better than others
Put your most relevant accomplishments first and use as many quantifiable metrics are possible. These are a great way to summarise your achievements in an attention grabbing and simple way. The same goes for your role responsibilities, list the more dominant and relevant ones first, followed by the more administrative tasks.
Proof before click
Before you send your resume, make sure you have someone else give it the once over. It’s amazing how many grammar corrections, spelling mistakes and formatting errors can be picked up with a fresh pair of eyes and keep your resume looking professional.
Set a reminder
Once you’ve got the job, your resume can be an easy thing to forget about. Set a reminder on your phone to update it every quarter or six months with your latest training experience, review your responsibilities and achievements. Many employees go through an internal review process, these can be great calendar moments to also update your resume.