High-Impact Resume Updates

Nancy Anderson
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The idea of updating your resume can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but it doesn't have to be. There are several small changes you can make that can greatly increase your resume's impact within minutes. If you're short on time, consider the following small yet powerful tweaks.

Highlight Accomplishments

One of the most common job seeker mistakes is listing common responsibilities with each position. For most jobs, a hiring manager can usually discern what your main responsibilities were. What really makes an impact is your accomplishments. For every job you've had, ask yourself: What will I be remembered for? What things did I do particularly well? Your resume should highlight your proudest achievements, especially since it may only receive a quick glance-over from most readers. Try separating each job section into two, using one section for major accomplishments and another to list your core responsibilities.

Eliminate Clichés

Hiring managers see some phrases so often that they eventually turn a blind eye to them. Terms such as "detail-oriented," "team player" or "proven track record" really don't communicate much and therefore don't add value to your resume. Instead, focus on quantifiable data. Provide percentages, monetary figures and other statistics to validate your claims. For instance, detailing, how you spearheaded a community-building project that increased employee attendance over a six-month period is much more effective than simply stating you are "team-focused," because it provides much needed detail.

Replace the Objective Statement

The objective statement was once a valuable and highly recommended resume section. Nowadays, it is largely considered obsolete and actually detrimental. The reader already knows your main objective: to get a job. Don't waste precious resume space talking about what you want from them; instead, create a brief career summary that lists your most relevant accomplishments and experience in a bold, bulleted format. This leads the reader's eye to your strongest attributes right from the top of the page.

Use the Right Keywords

If you are submitting your resume to an online job board, chances are it will have to make it past a company's applicant tracking software before it ever gets seen by a human. This cannot happen if your resume doesn't contain the right keywords. Update your resume's language to mirror the language contained in the job description, particularly where you list your relevant skills and experience.

Updating your resume doesn't have to be a long, arduous task. A few simple tweaks can sometimes have more impact than a major resume overhaul. Get rid of the tired clichés, replace your objective statement with a polished career summary, highlight your relevant accomplishments and use the right keywords from the company's job description. These four small updates help your resume make a strong, long-lasting impression with readers.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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