According to a study by TheLadders.com, recruiters spend about 6 seconds reviewing your resume before deciding whether it goes into the yes or no pile. Your ultimate goal is to spring clean your resume into the yes pile. When following the advice in the video below, always keep the specific job you’re applying for in mind. Your resume shouldn’t be static. It should be tweaked depending on the particular position of interest. You may wear many hats with many talents, but you’ll want to highlight those most relevant to the job opening.
Spring clean your resume to keep it current
Even if you’re not actively looking for a new opportunity, you never know when something unexpected might come up. There’s nothing worse than being asked for your resume and not being able to produce an updated version in a timely manner. In this job economy, it’s a good idea to always be prepared. By keeping your resume up-to-date with promotions, certifications and awards, you won’t have to backtrack later on. You’ll also be able to record your successes while they’re fresh in your mind and you’ll be confident you’re not forgetting anything important.
Rework your professional summary
Your professional summary is an area that recruiters spend time reading. This space gives you a lot of control over how you want to position yourself. It’s ok to brag and start this section off with phrases such as “Exceptional marketing executive” or “Award winning creative producer” or “Unparalleled sales executive who continuously exceeds quota expectations.” After all, this section should reflect your strengths and the areas you want to continue to grow in, not just describe your title in more detail. This is also a great place to add keywords that are relevant to your role. Including keywords that are featured in a job description will help ensure that your resume gets through any automated filtering software and into the hands of a hiring manager.
Revise your bullets
Rather than staring your bullet points with “Responsible for…” use active verbs to really show what you’re capable of achieving. Words like, initiated, created and managed give a clearer picture of your strengths and showcase your experience in a results-oriented framework. When you spring clean your resume, you can also show you’re capable of delivering results by highlighting quantifiable successes whenever possible. For example, increased revenue by 50%, generated 30% of all new client activity, decreased expenses by 20%. Challenge yourself to never use “responsible for” on your resume again!
Less is more when you spring clean your resume
Remember the study I mentioned earlier… recruiters may only initially spend about 6 seconds on your resume. Your resume should be your calling card. It should only give enough information to generate interest and get you in the door, not tell your whole story. Try to limit yourself to 4 or 5 bullets under each job title so that you don’t go over 1 page in length. Certainly there are some exceptions but this is a good rule of thumb!