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Posted David Brown, CEO, Hays US on Friday, May 4, 2018
Refreshing your resume is a necessary phase of your job search. But it’s also something that needs to be done before you leave your current role. Whether you’re actively seeking, or considering changing roles in your industry, here are some of the most effective ways to ensure you’re presenting your best self to potential employers.
1. Revamp your resume
Whether it’s been months or years since you last updated your resume, odds are it’s still tailored to the last position you applied for. Your skills, experiences, and career goals have all evolved since then, so it’s time to emphasize the new and improved you:
• Your personal statement
Concisely explain your career history to date, how that led to your current situation, and what you want next from your career and why. Though some sections of your resume shift less drastically than others, it’s also best to come at this section fresh. Having to reacquaint yourself with who you are now is an excellent way to figure out what your current goals are. You can find some additional advice here.
• Your experience
Keep it current, keep it concise. Shorten sections about junior roles and discuss in more detail your relevant or senior experience. For junior roles you can simply list the company name, your role, and your dates of employment. For senior roles, use this as a way to segue into talking about the skill sets you used as part of your roles. Not sure where to start cutting or expanding? Find more advice on streamlining a resume here.
• Your skills
Beyond your base skills, take the opportunity to talk about training courses taken and certifications earned. Think beyond broad skills, and address ways in which you’ve upskilled yourself or taken on additional responsibilities on the job. Cite specific examples of your work and achievements where possible.
• Your keywords
Seed the key skills and work history sections of your resume with keywords from the job descriptions of your ideal roles. Terms like “people manager,” “project management,” or “data analysis” can be incorporated while addressing work done and tasks fulfilled. But you can also incorporate them in the key skills and work history sections of your resume to make sure they’re noticed. The job search game is changing with recruiters using keyword screening algorithms to shortlist candidates. Make sure you’re including the right terms to ensure you don’t get cut first round.
2. Fewer clichés, more active terms
An optimized resume will get a recruiter’s attention – automated or not – but you can get yourself taken right off the short list again by relying too heavily on overused clichés. Phrases like “strong team player” or “effective people manager” by themselves tell a recruiter nothing. Be specific about what you’ve accomplished, and tell a recruiter why they want to hire you.
The same goes for using action verbs throughout your CV. You can use terms like ”motivated” or “united” to describe how you’ve inspired or brought others together, but if you don’t back that up with examples and evidence you’re hurting your chances rather than helping yourself.
No matter how good your resume is, if it’s not professionally edited you’re going to lose out to more professional-looking candidates. Check that your contact details, location, and any links to online profiles are up to date. Then make sure your resume has no spelling, formatting, consistency, capitalizations, abbreviation, or grammatical errors.
If you want a competitive edge in your job search, keep your resume up to date and focused on your most experienced roles and useful skills. Get into the habit of revising your resume regularly, rather than waiting for a new job opportunity. When you have a better understanding of your own abilities and how you can best present yourself, you’ll have an easier time finding roles that match exactly where you want to take your career. Already know where that is? Get in touch with Hays today and let us help you get there.