How long has it been since you last updated your resume? A few months? Years? During your last job search? If you haven't taken a look at your resume in a while, it's probably in need of some good TLC.
For every professional, not just job seekers, it's important to update your resume regularly. Careers take unexpected turns. You always want to be prepared in case you suddenly need to find a new job. Remember, every job is temporary. You don't want to waste time bringing your resume back from the dead when you should be focused on applying for new positions.
If you have cobwebs on your resume, here are three ways to bring your resume back to life so you can land more job interviews and get hired.
1. Optimize Your Resume With Keywords
In order for your resume to actually reach the hiring manager, it has to get past the ATS. Optimizing your resume with keywords is the best way to accomplish this. And you can't properly optimize your resume if you're not customizing it for each position you apply for.
Look at the job description before customizing your resume for the job you're applying for. Most job seekers don't realize that they could be missing out on job opportunities if they fail to do this. You need to customize your resume for each position you apply for, and it's because you need to get your resume past the ATS, which is only possible if you have the right kind (and amount) of keywords on your resume. Customizing your resume means you're including the keywords from a specific job description to give yourself a better chance of landing a job interview for that specific position.
After reading the job description, pick out the specific skills, technologies, and terms the employer mentions in the job posting and add them to your resume if they match up with your experience and qualifications. If the ATS reads your resume and sees that it contains enough of the keywords the employer is looking for, you'll "pass" as being qualified for the position and your resume won't get tossed. You won't get screened out of the hiring process because you'll be considered a qualified job candidate at first glance. A lifeless, unoptimized resume won't get you that far.
2. Update Your Formatting
Nothing makes it harder for hiring managers to get the information they need from your resume than outdated, inconsistent formatting. Maybe it hasn't been that long since you updated the content on your resume. But, when was the last time you updated your resume format? Have you just been adding more and more text to it? Moving sections and bullet points around? Stretching the margins so everything fits on one page?
If you actually want hiring managers to read your resume, you need to make it readable. This means making sure you're using a simple resume format and a clean-line font like Arial or Calibri. It also means making sure you have enough white space so you don't overwhelm the reader. If you're stretching margins and trying to cram everything onto one page, chances are your resume doesn't have enough white space. Use bullet points and one-inch margins to avoid large blocks of text that hiring managers will just skip over. You want to make it easy for hiring managers and recruiters to see your value. Don't make it difficult for them to see your skills and accomplishments.
With an outdated resume format, you also run the risk of looking old and out of touch, which won't help your case if you're already worried about age discrimination. So, one of the best ways to bring your resume back to life is simply by updating your formatting.
3. Add Numbers To Your Bullet Points
What good is updating your resume if you don't show what you've accomplished since the last time you updated it? Take a look at your resume in its current state. Do all of your bullet points contain numbers? Do you have measurable accomplishments that prove you save or make companies money? If not, your resume still has some cobwebs. You still have some updating to do.
Breathe life back into your resume by quantifying your work experience. Add numbers to each bullet point in the "Work History" section of your resume. Think about what have you accomplished at work. Think about the service you provide as a business-of-one. What is your specialty? Do you get results? What have you accomplished that proves you're a valuable employee? If you can't quantify something, it doesn't belong on your resume.
Including numbers on your resume not only shows hiring managers what you can do, but they also help your resume stand out from the competition. They give hiring managers something tangible to measure your success and potential on. If there's one thing that can bring your resume back to life, it's quantifiable information.
Need More Help Bringing Your Resume Back To Life?
An updated, well-formatted, optimized resume is best way to market yourself to employers and stand out in the first step of the hiring process. If employers can't see exactly where and how you add value, then that's going to decrease your chances of landing an interview.
Thankfully, you can learn how to build a customized, strategic resume that gets past the ATS and impresses hiring managers in our "Resume Plan" course!
You can gain UNLIMITED access to this course PLUS all of Work It Daily's other premium courses for only $9.99/month (cancel at anytime).
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