Give Your Resume a Facelift
As the job market slowly improves in 2011 and you dust off that old resume for a job search, you may find it's time to give it a face lift.
As always, your resume should be attractive and readable. But now there's more than just snail mail to send it out. It has become important to make the most of the Internet to distribute and display your resume effectively on social networking, job-hunting and career sites, and in job-application engines on corporate websites.
Focus on Selected Accomplishments
Hiring managers don't want to read a laundry list of your job duties, since they can typically figure out your responsibilities based on your title. Instead, focus on measurable achievements -- numbers, percentages, awards -- that show your skills,
"Create bullet points of three to five selected accomplishments so that the reader of the resume would immediately know why, objectively, they should consider you for the position,
Even if you could write dozens of pages on your work history, avoid the temptation. You'll have plenty of time to dig into the details of your skills and accomplishments when you get into an interview, so consider your resume to be a highlights reel. Curate the best of the best to keep your resume to a manageable one or two pages.
"In a resume, think these three things: short, sweet and to-the-point,"
Remove Pointless Sections
If you're tempted to list your hobbies, your personal information and health, or even the phrase "references available on request," reconsider. Not only do they take up valuable space you could use to showcase your accomplishments, but they could make you look downright unprofessional.
"Some of these things used to be standard 15 or 20 years ago, but now they'll make you look dated," says Cheryl Palmer, an executive career coach and founder of Call to Career in Silver Spring, Md. A human resources director is going to assume you'll furnish references at the interview. Hobbies aren't worth listing unless they're somehow relevant to the job you're applying for, and your personal information -- marital status, children -- also isn't relevant.
Triple Check to Make Your Resume Error-Free
Employers often spend just seconds with a resume, and a single typo can send it to the discard pile.
"A resume does not get you hired, but it is commonly used to get you eliminated from the next phase of the recruiting process,"
Hiring managers may toss resumes for even the smallest matters -- a single typo, inconsistent punctuation, or even cliched phrases like "detail-oriented" or "people person."
"Only after the easy eliminations have been made do busy managers actually read the content of selected resumes," she says.
Have More Than one Format
Yes, you spent four hours getting the bullet points, margins, bolding and fonts just right in your Word document.
Here's the bad news. When you submit that document to an online job or corporate site, it's going to turn into a mess, with apostrophes morphing into strange squiggles and characters, and all those crisp paragraphs into a massive lump,
This is why it's important to prepare your resume in several different formats, so your hard work doesn't go to waste. Some popular ways to save your resume are in Word, as plain text and as a PDF. The PDF also works well if you have an artistic element to your resume that you don't want to lose. Different employers prefer different formats, so be sure to double check.