I’ve had the best of luck when it comes to landing jobs since getting my first one at 15 and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. Landing a job you want is due to many moving pieces, but getting the opportunity to land a job is due to your resume. I’ve had the same resume for years since I hadn’t been on the hunt for a job change, but recently got it revamped after 4 years just to blow some dust off of it. The changes that were made really made me recognize how many unnecessary items we have on our resume because it’s what we’ve been taught to do, or all we know. Here are 5 things you can do to upgrade your resume today –
Retire Your Objective
I don’t know why we’ve all been told to add this. You don’t need it. My first objective said something like, “To obtain an entry level position that allows me to demonstrate my educational background in Marketing and Public Relations while contributing to the overall objective of the company.” Girl, what? 1) They already know you’re seeking an entry level position, you applied for one and 2) all you’re saying is things they already expect.
If you have any prior job experience, writing out an objective is going to take up valuable space when you could simply be telling them the details of what your experiences have been in strong bullet points. If you’re already in your career and are looking to change positions or even fields, it might be a better idea to inform potential employers about what you have to offer by creating a summary instead. In that space you can briefly highlight your relevant experience, which is great for easily changing depending on the particular job you’re applying for, including key results you’ve achieved, and any additional info that will help recruiters and hiring managers learn who you are and why you’re a strong fit for the position. Consider it a two or three sentence cover letter.
Delete Fluffy Skills
Saying things like “great listener”, “diligent work ethic” or “valuable team player” actually says very little about you. Of course you’d say you’re all those things! If you secure an interview, that’s the perfect time to discuss “soft skills” such as being a hard worker or someone who takes initiative on new tasks. Your resume isn’t the place for fluff or sentence fillers. Those bland, vague words don’t effectively support your strengths. Instead, use measurable or matter of fact hard skills that are required or relevant to the positions you’re going after.
For example, if I’m applying for a marketing position that requires social media campaigns I wouldn’t just say “Experienced user with social media platforms”. I’d go into depth about how I grew my current companies social media from 21 to 12,000 followers due to campaign effectiveness and mention how I managed campaign tasks and deadlines through a program like Asana. When it comes to resumes, less isn’t more – more is!
Do Away with “Responsible For”
Anytime I read “responsible for” when looking over resumes, I imagine that you copied and pasted the job description onto your resume to match exactly what the company said they were looking for. Responsible seems like a strong word, until you’re using it in front of “stocking all flavors of coffee and varieties of sugar”. No shade, but other than telling the hiring manager you had some level of ownership over a task, it doesn’t expand upon what you really did.
Which sounds better? — “Responsible for creation of quarterly marketing newsletter shared with public clients” or “Write, edit, and publish original content for quarterly marketing newsletter shared with 500+ global public clients.”
Delete Your Home Address
Do you think that if a company sees you live within 10 miles of the building they’re more inclined to hire you? It’s not necessary. It’s also 2018, where you will likely be notified some futuristic way like a text (oooooo!) or email (ahhhhh!) if your application has been moved to the next round. If you’d like, you can share either your zip code, or city and state – but the most necessary information is going to be your phone number and email address.
In replacement of your full address, link where you can be found digitally. Your updated LinkedIn profile, a personal or business website, or a social media account that will show your professionalism or relevance to the position. Draw attention to other spaces where recruiters and hiring managers can learn more about who you are and why you’re a great fit for the role.
Triple Check for Inconsistent Formatting
There’s really no excuse for this, especially since there are millions of resume templates to choose from on the world wide web, and even in Microsoft Word! When a recruiter pulls your resume, they can it before actually reading through it, looking for key words and formatting errors. Once you decide on a formatting choice, stick with it throughout your entire resume. If your bullet points end in periods, make sure they ALL do. If you’re writing your months with 3 letters, make sure they’re ALL written with 3 letters.
Make sure that your company name and start and end dates are all clear and easily visible, as well as keeping your skills organized and consistent. Print and proofread your resume several times on your own. Finally, have a friend, mentor, and/or professional review it and provide you with detailed feedback. We don’t always have the hours that it takes to fully overhaul a resume — hopefully these tips will come in handy when you have a few moments to do a quick update!