10 Ways to Show Your Resume Some Love
Resumes need some love too! This Valentine's Day think about giving your resume some TLC (after celebrating with your significant other, of course).
Here are 10 tips that will get your resume into top shape in no time.
1. Update your Current Career
If you’ve changed jobs recently, you’ll want to make sure you have your resume updated before you start a new search. Even if you’re currently working, it’s always a good idea to keep your resume updated.
2.. Update your Descriptions
Update the description under each job to better describe what you did. Always focus on accomplishments that show a potential employer how you would benefit their company. For example, if you’re an accountant, don’t write “performed general accounting duties and processes.” Instead, write something like “Performed accounting duties including creating and implementing new billing processes that saved the company $20,000.”
3. Use the Active Voice
Using active language can help give your resume a strong voice through writing clear, concise sentences. Here’s a good website that explains how to use the Active Voice. In short, always make sure that the subject of the sentence (usually, you) is doing the action.
Active Voice: Developed, created and maintained websites using WordPress.
Passive Voice: Websites were developed, created and maintained using WordPress.
4. Update the Font
If you haven’t updated your resume recently, changes are you should update the fonts you use. There isn’t really a reason anymore to make your resume “stand out” by using silly fonts. Most resumes don’t actually get printed, but simply ingested into a computer program. Use a simple, easy to read font instead!
5. Update the Formatting
Much like fonts, it’s wise to avoid “fancy” formatting and graphic elements on your resume (unless you’re a graphic designer). These elements will only distract readers and are a nightmare for automatic resume ingesting programs.
6. Update the File Type
You’d be surprised how many resumes still use the old .doc format Microsoft ditched years ago in favor of the updated .docx format. Many resume ingestion programs have a hard time properly reading old or odd file formats, which could mean your resume won’t look right after its been imported. It’s also a good idea to avoid creating a .pdf version of your resume by simply scanning a paper version of your resume. Most programs are unable to read these resumes because they rely on text recognition.
Although it may take some extra time, it’s always best to create a copy of your resume using Microsoft Word, or even a free program like OpenOffice.
7. Update your Postings
If you posted your reusme in the past at a site like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com, you should update it. Companies pay to search these sites for candidates, and may pass over your outdated resume if you haven’t updated your experience and work history.
8. Update your Email
If you’re sending emails to prospective employers using an email address like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org you should probably change it. Getting a professional-sounding email address is a must!
9. Update (Or Create) your Website
Resume websites and online portfolios aren’t just for web developers and other tech experts! They’re really easy to create now using a host of free sites like WordPress and can give your online brand a boost with potential employers. Tracking and analytics features with your website will also allow you to see where clicks to your website are coming from.
10. Update your References
While it’s not usually a good idea to include references on your resume (definitely don’t put “References Available Upon Request”) , many employers will still ask for a list of resumes once you’ve interviewed. Before you renew your job search, check back with your references to make sure they’re still willing to vouch for you.