According to a research study done by TheLadders.com, it takes a recruiter six seconds to review your resume and decide if you are a fit for their job or not. Yes, you read that right. Not six minutes, six seconds.
You know that having a resume that effectively showcases your skills and abilities is important. However, it can be easy to add your most recent job to the top of the document, click save and hope for the best. It’s important to revisit your resume every so often to maintain that it is in its most efficient form for landing you your next job.
Let this blog be the motivation you need to go over your resume and make sure you make these seven critical updates:
There is no set page length when it comes to your resume. Some people may have a one page resume that can show all their accomplishments and some have multiple pages to highlight their years in the business. However, your resume should not read like a novel and list out every single task you’ve ever completed. Instead, make sure your resume highlights your successes and accomplishments. Show how you made in impact on the department or company, not the day-to-day tasks you completed. Doing so, should cut down the length of your resume, making it easier to read.
Layout Since you only have 6 seconds to make an impression, it’s important that the layout of your resume is optimal. Laura Smith-Proulx, a resume writer and career coach offers, ‘If there is something critical in your background it needs to land on your first page and preferably in the top half or it just won’t be obvious.” Create a section at the top that highlights your biggest and best accomplishments. Therefore, when the recruiters spends their six seconds on your resume, you have made it count!
Focus On The Job You Want If you’re looking to branch into a Manager or Director level position, your resume needs to reflect that. Be sure that you include the skills and accomplishments you have that would make you a great candidate for those types of roles. It can be easy to list out all your job responsibilities from the past but that won’t necessarily get you a job at the next level. Think about the responsibilities the job you want requires and make sure your resume showcases those attributes in you.
Keywords If you’re not emailing a recruiter your resume directly, you’re most likely applying online and putting your resume into an application system. Once in there, recruiters can search the database based on skills and other keywords to find the perfect candidate for their open job. It’s important that whatever skills they are searching for, are in your resume. Verify that your specialties are highlighted in resume with keywords on specific technologies and skill sets. However, be careful and don’t overload your resume with keywords, making it cluttered and hard to read. The perfect balance will get you found and make your resume well organized at the same time.
Dates Some IT candidates are hesitate to put the specific dates of their employment history on their resume. They are worried about the amount of jobs in a certain time span or looking like they are “job hopping”. Job hopping is no longer frowned upon like it once was. In actuality, many IT leaders see it as having a vast amount of experience not only in your jobs, but with various industries and companies. If you have gaps in your resume, that’s okay too. Always be upfront with your recruiter about your work history and they’ll understand.
Show Your Work Having a portfolio might not apply to every position but if you are a developer who has work that needs to presented to future employers, it’s a must have. Consider creating an online portfolio using free services such as Silk and Dropr and linking it directly to your resume. Make it as easy as possible for the recruiter or employer to view your past accomplishments and projects.
Represent Yourself Accurately When you come across a job you’d really like to have, you want to put your best foot forward when it comes to making your resume stand out. However, this doesn’t mean you should embellish and exaggerate projects you’ve worked on or the skills you have. That might get you an interview but the truth is sure to come out there. And that’s as far as you’ll get. Your resume needs to represent you as best as it can but don’t claim skills you know you don’t have.
Lastly, since all the jobs you apply for are not looking for the same skills and experience, it also might be in your best interest to create a master resume. This would have your collective career and work history on it. When a job comes a long you’re interested in applying for, you can copy and paste the relevant information for the specific job into your resume template and voila! You quickly have a resume prepared specifically with the skills and knowledge it takes to land that job.
As your career changes so does your resume and it’s important to give it the attention it deserves. Updating it regularly will only assist you in more quickly and efficiently applying for that next, must have job.