In many ways the digital age has completely reshaped how we apply for jobs. No longer do individuals walk into a physical location to hand an actual human being their resume. This means that your resume is making your first impression for you and it is critical that you maximize your possibilities of making an impact.
This doesn’t mean that every time you apply for a job that you need to completely reinvent the wheel. As an adult in the workforce, it is important to always have an updated resume at your disposal. However, whether it’s been a decade or a day since your last job search, there are small improvements you can make to your resume that will make a BIG impact on your job search process.
If you want to make some quick adjustments to your resume try one of these ten-minute upgrades to give your resume some new shine.
1. Make Formatting Consistent
Correcting formatting inconsistencies can go a long way in helping you make a great first impression. Any formatting errors such as mismatched bullet points, irregular alignment or inconsistent fonts will stick out like a sore thumb. Take the time to go through your resume and clean up these details.Though it may seem minor, it can make a huge difference.
2. Play Up “The Fold”
Look closely at the top third of your resume or what is called “above the fold.” Is it impressive? Engaging? Does it showcase what you want your potential employer to know? If not, consider some tweaks. This is the first section a hiring manager is going to see and if it is filled with a large image or a weak objective statement, then your resume will most likely be passed over pretty quickly. It’s important to have a hook that draws the employer in, and it is essential that the hook be above the fold.
3. Read Your Resume Out Loud (Bonus if Someone Else Listens)
It only takes a few minutes to read your resume and cover letter out loud to yourself, or to a friend or family member. This will help with the flow of your resume, and will assure that you are not using choppy or poorly structured sentences. Sometimes when we actually articulate what we have written, it can help us catch small errors.
4. Quantify Your Work
It’s one thing to say that you helped your company achieve success and grow, but it takes your resume to a whole new level of amazing if you can quantify the growth. Hiring managers and PR professionals love numbers, so if you exceeded your sales goals by 30 percent every quarter, make sure to include that, as the specifics are what will carry you.
5. Focus On What’s Most Relevant
One of the most common themes when talking about resume formatting is correct resume length. Some people swear by one page only, while others say two pages plus is perfectly acceptable. The truth is that your resume should be about one page for every ten years of professional experience you have. If you have had multiple positions over the last ten years, make sure to feature the ones that best highlight your career aspirations and achievements. It is important not to overload hiring managers and PR professionals with information that doesn’t pertain to the position you are applying for, so make sure you really do your best to highlight the most pertinent information.