If your resume is bland, boring or outdated, it's time to refresh your resume. This task is especially important if you're about to embark on a job search. Your resume should continuously evolve to reflect the times, and modern employers want more than just a detailed list of your education, job history and skills. Here are five tips for boosting your resume and capturing an employer's interest.
1. Quantify Your Achievements
Refresh your resume by showing your success. Employers want to know what you accomplished in previous positions, so it's important to quantify your achievements by providing real data or statistics. For example, if you signed a record number of new clients, boosted sales by 50 percent in your department or helped minimize employee turnover by 80 percent, include this information in your resume.
2. Use Active Voice
Resumes that use passive voice were once the norm, but those days are long gone. As you refresh your resume, eliminate or avoid using passive, weak terms such as "assisted," "helped" or "participated." Instead, use strong action verbs such as "managed" "executed," "created" and "controlled" to make a stronger impression and show that you are or were an important part of the workforce.
3. Tailor Your Resume to Each Job
Submitting a generic resume to multiple employers is a poor strategy that won't get you very far. Always tailor your resume to each position. Each employer must be able to match your skills and experiences to those required for the position. Thoroughly read the job description and use job-specific keywords and phrases from the description in your resume to keep the interest of hiring managers.
4. Reduce the Length
Hiring managers are often busy and tend to frown on lengthy resumes. There's no need to list each job you've ever had. The best way to reduce the length of a long resume is to make it relevant. As a rule of thumb, keep your resume short and to the point. A page or two in length is ideal. Also, avoid packing a ton of information into your one-to-two-page resume, as this often makes it difficult to read. Make sure there's enough white space for easy scanning and enough space between each line to ensure effortless reading.
5. Eliminate the Extras
If your resume includes multiple email addresses, phone numbers or even a photo, refresh your resume by eliminating the photo and using just one email address and phone number. If you plan to submit a hard copy of your document, avoid extras such as using brightly colored paper, spraying your document with perfume or using a font that's too fancy. Keep your resume simple and professional.
If you're preparing for a job search, or if your resume is long overdue for an update, refresh your resume using these five tips. The job market is competitive, so it's essential to have an up-to-date resume that impresses employers and increases your chances of landing a job interview. What other ways have you used to refresh your resume on a job hunt?
Photo courtesy of clearedjobs.net at Flickr.com