Even if you’re happy with your current job, you should always keep your resume up to date. Every six months or so, set aside a few hours to read through it and freshen it up! You will be glad to have an up-to-date resume if an exciting job opportunity does arise, either internally or externally. You will be able to move quickly and get in before other candidates.
1. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread Again
You get one chance to make a first impression. A small error in your resume or cover letter can say to a recruiter that you are sloppy and that you have low attention to detail. Use proofreading tools to help. Grammarly is used by many professional writers to fine-tune their content and eliminate minor grammatical errors. Remember that no spell checker or proofreading tool can spot a factual error. If you say that you graduated on February 30 or you left your last job in 2028, you will look silly. You have to examine your resume in very fine detail before submitting. Ideally, get someone else to take a look at it for you.
2. Highlight Your Transferable Skills
Employers are looking for specific experience and qualifications, but they are also looking for more general skills like communication, flexibility and teamwork. Your resume should try to highlight these kinds of transferable skills as well as your specific work experience. If you’ve been commended by previous employers for resourcefulness, learning quickly or providing great service, mention this on your resume.
3. Put Vital Information Near the Top
Recruiters will, in general, read the first third of your resume and glance over the rest. They will make then make a snap decision about whether to examine your application in more detail or move onto the next one. That’s why any really important information needs to be near the top. What are the main things that the recruiter will be looking for? Can they easily be seen? Sometimes a vital piece of information may be towards the end, for example, if one of your early jobs contained a very relevant piece of experience. If so, you can add a brief summary near the top mentioning that you have this experience.
4. Check What Your Resume Looks Like on Screen and on Paper
Most resume submissions are fully electronic these days, so you need to ensure that it’s easy to read on a computer screen. Documents can look different on different computers. Send your resume to a friend and look at it on their computer screen. Your resume might still get printed out and placed on someone’s desk. Print out your own copy before submission and check to make sure that it comes out the way that you had intended, and that it doesn’t exceed the recommended page count.
5.Don’t Include Any “Well, Duh” Statements
“References available on request.” “Available for immediate interview.” You may have been taught to include these generic phrases, but do they add actually add anything to your resume? For example, recruiters assume that you have references and you will attend an interview. What other generic phrases do you have on your resume? Go through your resume and delete anything that’s obvious. Instead, use that space to offer more detail about yourself and why you’re a great candidate.