If you are among those that have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or currently employed and looking for a new career path, it is time to update your resume. To attract potential employers, your resume should always represent the most recent experiences you have had in your professional career and reflect on the skills you have acquired over time.
Before you apply for a new job, make sure your resume is up to date, polished and error-free. Here are six tips on how to ready your resume before you embark on the search for a new career.
1. SET UP AN EASY TO READ FORMAT
When a recruiter or potential employer is viewing your resume, it will likely be a quick scan, so it is important to keep it organized. Sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor share tips on how to button up your resume format and make it attractive to potential employers. Top formatting tips are below:
- Align roles and descriptions to the left
- Align location and dates to the right
- Keep everything (except your name) the same font size
- Have a separate “Skills” section
- Keep it to one page
2. INCLUDE EXPERIENCE FIRST, EDUCATION LAST
Recent professional history including previous titles, dates of employment, employers, accomplishments and skills should be included within the work experience section – this can also include internships and volunteer work, if applicable.
The education section should always be updated with the most recent education you have obtained. Unless you are a recent grad, include education at the bottom. Other elements to include in the education section are certificates or degrees from an accredited institution.
3. USE PROPER PRESENT AND PAST TENSE
Choosing the right tense is important when crafting a resume. When describing a previous job role, volunteer position or extracurricular activity, be sure to use past-tense verbs. If you are including a role that you still perform, use the present tense within the description. A general rule of thumb is to avoid using mixed past and present tense under a single heading.
4. ADD A VARIETY OF KEYWORDS
Use a variety of keywords to get you noticed by potential employers. To stand out amongst other applicants, spice up your vocabulary, and include distinctive keywords within your job role descriptions. Ensure you are using a variety of words that match your experience and avoid using the same word multiple times throughout your resume.
5. FOCUS ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Include any professional, educational or personal accomplishments. These achievements should reflect your contributions that positively impacted the business. Including metrics, data and statistics to further showcase your accomplishments will allow potential employers to see your worth and potential impact.
Once your resume draft is complete, always proofread multiple times to ensure it is error-free. Comb through the resume section by section and keep an eye out for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. This is the last and most crucial part of the process as most recruiters immediately evaluate applicants by their resume and often will not consider an applicant if there are errors found within their resume. Keep in mind, your resume is your first impression. In these unprecedented times, this is especially important because you may not have the opportunity to meet with your potential employer face-to-face.
Proofreading goes a long way. Here are some tips for effective proofreading:
- After your initial proofread, take a break and come back with fresh eyes.
- Print out a hard copy for a different perspective.
- As a friend, family member or mentor to proofread it for you.
Once complete, you are ready to get back out there and apply for the job of your dreams! What are your best practices for re-polishing your resume? Let us know in the comments!