As many Generation X’ers are finding out, the job market and job search is vastly different today than it was 10, or even 5, years ago. Here are a few tips to keep your resume current and fresh.
1. Pay attention to what they ask for.
If you call to inquire about a position and they ask you to email a resume, do it. Immediately. Don’t ask if you can stop by, or call again, do what they asked you to do. If the employment ad wants you to fill out the application online, suck it up and do it. Those applications can be lengthy and time-consuming, but it’s what they want, so oblige them. If you can’t follow directions when applying, how will they be confident in your ability to follow directions at work?
2. Brevity is your friend.
According to CareerPerfect, you have about 10 seconds to catch an employer’s attention with your resume. Don’t clutter up your resume with every job you’ve ever held. Be succinct when describing your previous duties and accomplishments. One page should do, but two at the very maximum.
3. Make it mobile friendly.
“With so many avenues through which your resume can reach a recruiter or hiring manager, it is more important than ever to ensure your resume makes a huge impact, whether being viewed as a hard copy or displayed on a mobile device. Consider the top-third of your resume as prime real estate in the personal branding landscape.” (CareerPerfect, Resume Writing 2.0 for a Mobile Job Search)
4. Objective Statement is Out!
Instead, use a qualifications or skills summary to highlight your professional attributes. But remember, be succinct.
5. Use keywords.
“Keywords and phrases reflect skills and experience necessary for the type of position and industry you are targeting. While an effective resume will include action verbs (e.g., develop, negotiate, analyze) for a human reviewer, keywords and phrases will play a crucial role when technology is used to select candidates.” (CareerPerfect, Optimize Your Resume with Keywords)
You want to sell yourself to prospective employers, but remember to temper your “about me” with “What’s in it for them?” The recruiter is looking for someone who will fit into THEIR culture and job opening; they need to be able to identify quickly how you can help THEM.
7. Get Social.
If you don’t already, you must have a LinkedIn profile, and it needs to be kept current. Keep it professional but use all of the features to highlight your credentials, experience, and successes. Also make sure that your personal social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc) are either tastefully managed or locked down tighter than Fort Knox. Rest assured, prospective employers WILL Google you, be careful what you put out there.
8. You’re one of a kind, and so are they.
Customize your resume to suit the position you are seeking. Every employer recognizes the standard resume template, and they’re not impressed. Use specific industry language and point out your previous duties and qualifications that fit with what they’re looking for. Do this to your cover letter too (yes, you must write a cover letter.) If you want to work for them, you have to start here.
Find more tips here: