When was the last time you applied for a job? However long ago that was, it may have been the last time you updated your resume as well. If you’re happily employed, taking the time to update your resume may seem unnecessary, but you never know when an enticing opportunity will present itself. When this happens, you’ll want your resume ready to go should someone ask for it!
If you haven’t updated your resume recently, chances are that the skills and responsibilities listed do not reflect your current capabilities and potential for success in the future. Additionally, depending on your field, the resume template and overall design may be outdated in a hiring manager’s eye, which can lead to them passing over your application. In order to avoid this, here are 10 quick fixes to spruce up your resume:
Update all your roles – if you haven’t touched your resume since you applied for your most recent role, the first thing you should do is include this, as well as any evolving responsibilities to your resume. Not only does a hiring manager want to see what you are currently up to, but it gives an indication of how quickly you’ll be able to transition into a new opportunity. As a result, they’ll be able to see how you’ll be able to adapt within their company structure.
Change the font – Even if you already use a professional font like Times New Roman or Calibri, a new font change can make a huge difference! Fonts like Helvetica and Century Gothic look sleek and modern (as well as not too common), so they’ll most likely catch the eye of a hiring manager.
Rearrange sections if necessary – Depending on your experience level, you may have positioned your education section higher than it needs to be. As a rule of thumb, professionals with some experience under their belt should list professional experience first, followed by involvement with professional organizations, then education, and skills at the end.
Delete the resume objective – There was a time when including a resume objective at the top of your resume was essentially a requirement. However, they’ve become redundant and unnecessary over the past couple of years. For many potential employers, a resume objective is wasted space that could have been dedicated to highlighting skills or expanding on previous roles.
Add your LinkedIn profile – Now that LinkedIn is considered a requirement for many employers, including it on your resume is a must. Since it can be seen as an in-depth version of your resume, providing access to your LinkedIn profile can make you a more appealing candidate to a hiring manager deciding who to bring in for an interview. Your profile can also showcase different projects you’ve worked on or any work samples you may have, so making your work more accessible to a hiring manager may give you a competitive edge.
Make all of your links active – If you are including links to your LinkedIn profile, business website, or other website where your work and accomplishments can be viewed, be sure to include hyperlinks! While a hiring manager could manually reach those websites themselves, they’ll appreciate the ease and efficiency that comes with live links on your resume. In order to do this, send your resume as a .PDF so a hiring manager can access any hyperlinks you include while keeping the format consistent.
Shorten the amount of bullets for any single position – As you go over prior roles on your resume, be sure to list five bullets per role at most. While you may have accomplished a lot or spent a long time in a particular role, a hiring manager is not going to get through every single bullet point if the section is too long. If you have several roles on your resume, don’t be afraid to eliminate bullets from your older positions!
Quantify everything – Did you manage a team? Increase sales revenue by a significant percentage? If there are any numbers you can highlight on your resume, do so. Numbers and percentages are not only attractive to a potential employer’s eye, but it gives them a clearer idea of what they can expect of you should you be hired. Failing to do so can be seen as a major deal-breaker!
Update the skills section – If you haven’t touched your resume in a while, the skills currently listed there don’t reflect the skills you’ve acquired over time. If that’s the case, be sure to include any new programs you’ve learned and soft skills that come with more professional experience.
Check the formatting – Now that you have made all these changes, finish it off by ensuring that the formatting is the same throughout. Before sending out the final product, check to see that the font is consistent, indentations are even, and bullets line up properly. You wouldn’t want to have done all of that work only to have a hiring manager pass over it because it’s too difficult to read.