It’s a new year and the perfect time to start looking for a new job. One of the first steps in that process is reviewing your current resume and updating it to make sure it reflects what you have to offer.
Here is our top 10 list of how to ensure your resume holds your potential employer’s attention to ensure you get a second glance:
- Grammar Check: This is the first, and most important item on our list. Make sure everything is spelled correctly—it’s the easiest way to make a good impression. Grammar not your area of expertise? Have a trusted friend or colleague give it a detailed review.
- List Your Accomplishments: Communicate to people the value you added to your current and past employers. Don’t simply list off your duties—focus on your accomplishments. For example, “Managed trade shows” should be framed as “Organized largest industry event that generated $100,000 worth of sales and 250 leads.” List concrete examples of how you contributed.
- Looks Matter: Your resume design should not distract from who you are. Keep it simple, clean, and organized. Use modern fonts—nothing that reminds people of a cartoon or makes people think you are screaming at them. Good fonts to use include Garamond, Gill Sans, Helvetica Neu, Roboto, Avenir, and Georgia. Avoid overused fonts like Times New Roman and Arial, and be sure to keep the font size between 12–14 points. People should not have to squint to read your resume!
- Length: The one-page rule isn’t set in stone, but what it guides you to do is keep your resume direct and short. Outline all your key accomplishments without being too verbose, but don’t leave off pertinent information just because it pushed you to another page. If you are on page 5, you have gone too far and said too much!
- Objectives Should be Clear and Direct: Say exactly what type of opportunity you are looking for and what you have to offer a potential employee. Don’t be generic—it could leave someone wondering what you’re saying or that your skill set could be applied to almost anyone. Think of the objective as your elevator pitch.
- Correct Information: Make sure your address, phone number, and email address are all up to date and accurate.
- ILOVECHOCOLATE@aol.com: Look at your email address and make sure it is professional. If it gives you pause for even a second, make yourself a new one to use for your job search process.
- Format: Do not send your resume as a Word document. Instead, save it is a PDF—this will guarantee it looks how it did on your computer and that it is easy to open and view. Name the file with an easy to understand and logical convention, such as FirstName_LastName_Resume.
- Give Them a Little More: Include a link to your LinkedIn profile or any other professional website or social media outlet. Do not include links to personal social media—you are looking for a new job, not a new friend.
- Circulate It: Your resume isn’t going to help you by simply sitting on your laptop. Use it to start applying to interesting positions and to hand off to recruiters who can help you find that new job for the new year!