With the new year almost in sight, what are your career resolutions? Here’s a suggestion: Update your resume. Author Amy Gallo outlines expert advice in making that good first impression with your CV:
After all, it’s more than a resume; “it’s a marketing document,” says John Lees, a UK-based career strategist and author of Knockout CV. Heifetz agrees: “The hiring manager is the buyer, you’re the product, and you need to give him a reason to buy.”
Achieve a resume that stands out by following these key tips:
- Open strong – The first 15-20 words of your resume are critically important “because that’s how long you usually have a hiring manager’s attention,” says Lees. Start with a brief summary of your expertise.
- Get the order right – If you’re switching industries, don’t launch into job experience that the hiring manager may not think is relevant.
- Be selective – It’s tempting to list every job, accomplishment, volunteer assignment, skill, and degree you’ve ever had. But don’t.
- Share accomplishments, not responsibilities – “My rule of thumb is that 95% of what you talk about should be framed as accomplishments,” suggests Heifetz. Lees agrees: “Give tangible, concrete examples.”
- Make it readable – Lees says the days of a one-page resume are over. Nowadays, two or three pages is fine, but that’s the limit. And stick to the most common fonts.
- Get help – Consider working with a resume writer, mentor, or a friend.
- Tweak it for each opportunity – Don’t think you can get away with having just one resume. Heifetz says you have to alter it for each opportunity.
- Align your LinkedIn profile – Your LinkedIn profile is just as important as your resume.
Start the new year right by getting your resume right. Here’s to a year filled with career successes!