contrary to what most of us think, job searching is an ongoing process and should be maintained and updated just like your physical health. it’s tricky to remember to do in the throws of daily life, but when the time strikes for a new job, or worse, when you need a job quickly, getting your job research in check is essential to getting a new gig. so what can you do right now to get organized? take a cue from the long weekend ahead and do these 5 things to boost your resume:
update the content
arguably the most important update to your resume: the content. try as you might, you likely don’t update your resume every time you tack on a skill or new role. so, take some time this weekend to update the content on your resume. start with the easy stuff like your email address, schools and education, and new skills acquired. these should only take up a few lines on your resume.
next, update any new roles you’ve had since updating it before. think about the most important facets of the role and list them out in bullet points, taking the time to describe each one. someone once told me that a resume is most effective when you list out each of your responsibilities from most important to least, especially if it’s listed out based on the type of job you’re applying to.
go classy and clear (resume font and style)
make sure your resume is formatted in a clear, concise way. keep the font conservative (unless you’re applying to a creative agency that loves unique resumes), my favorite font is Times New Roman. here’s a good article on the best types of fonts to use in a resume.
if you’re considering making a creative resume like this one, reconsider. really take the time to understand the company first before making the jump to submit a super unique resume. I say this for two reasons: professionalism is most important on your first impression and some resume scanners/recruiters automatically eliminate perfectly legitimate resumes for the creative formatting.
keep things age appropriate
just graduated? make sure to include your education at the top. been in the game for more than 5 years? bring it down to the bottom of the page. consider how much experience you have and adjust your resume accordingly. if you’ve just graduated college, you probably don’t have that much experience, so you can include some of the smaller jobs. but if you’re several years in, you likely have more experience and won’t benefit from including your babysitting job from when you were 14. be age appropriate and always prioritize big brands and big responsibilities.
if you do anything to your resume, make sure it’s to quantify your experience. what do I mean by this? in order to prove your impact to your potential employers, you need to make sure you’re showing your current overall impact. numbers do this. try your best to add numbers to every single responsibility you have. this is often harder for women who have roles like marketing, but it’s still doable. the best way to do this is to record each task as you complete them in some sort of spreadsheet (here’s an example), and then record an numerical impact next to it. a good example is something like “Led the X campaign from beginning to completion, driving $100K in sales and 50,000 new users”. if I don’t know how much weight I pulled, I ask my team members how much overall impact the project had and record that. once you have that, you can record your impact on your resume – it’s the best way to prove to recruiters that you’re worth interviewing.
make several versions
I don’t know anyone that applies to one job and gets it. most of the time, we apply to a variety of jobs and interview for a handful of them. so how do you get ahead of the game without doing much at all? have several versions of your resume. so, for example, if you’re applying to several different types of roles across the same subset industry, adjust your resume accordingly. if you apply to an equine vet in one job application and a canine vet in another, adjust each resume to focus on the specific subject at hand (equine and canine). doing this will increase your chances of getting noticed and will show your overall commitment to the job when a recruiter or potential employer scans your resume.
do these 5 things this weekend and you’ll be ready to roll when tuesday comes around! feel free to leave other resume building tips that you think should be included.