Your resume. Just the phrase can be enough to cause anxiety in many job seekers. Creating the ideal resume is more difficult now than ever before, as the employment picture remains challenging, and the workforce is more educated and more competitive than ever before.
Your best defense as a job seeker is to have an excellent resume, but the characteristics of what makes a strong one are pretty different than what they were even just a few years ago.
These tips can help you breathe new life into your resume, and hopefully your career search as well.
Highlight Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities
All of the responsibilities in the world aren’t going to mean much if you didn’t use them to guide you toward accomplishments like high-tech certifications. Your resume should be a way to put your real, valuable accomplishments on display, so rather than a laundry list of your tasks at your previous jobs, try to highlight what you really did while you were there. List projects you headed, sales you closed or new things you brought to the table that might not have been in place previously.
Beef Up Your Tech Knowledge
Certificates can be a gray area for a lot of job seekers. They might wonder if earning certificates are worth the time, and the answer is yes and no. It depends on the certificate you receive. Some of the best options to help you not only land the job but also perhaps make a higher salary are usually centered around technology and IT, like the AWS certification which focuses on global cloud computing. Even if you don’t work in a strictly technology-centric field, having these high-tech certifications can go a long way on your resume.
Eliminate Standard, Meaningless Language
A good resume in 2016 needs to be concise and to-the-point, well-designed and it needs to highlight your accomplishments. It also needs to be free of that standard language that human resources professionals probably see on almost every resume they come across. For example, describing yourself as results-oriented is virtually useless. That has no real meaning, it doesn’t distinguish you, and you’re just using valuable space on your resume to say nothing.
Skip Objectives and Add a Summary
Hiring managers are busy, discerning and interested in finding the right person for the job. Your career and life goals and objectives aren’t important to them, no matter what you might believe. Skip the objectives line on your resume, and add something more useful. A summary can be great because it’s a clear and concise way to sum up your accomplishments and history, and it’s perfect for the hiring managers that are skimming hundreds of resumes. If you want to make it pop, don’t use the standard “summary” to identify this area. Instead, bold a quick line that highlights what you specialize in or bring to the table.
Just by following the tips above you can make sure your resume packs a punch and helps you stand out among an increasingly competitive field of job seekers.