By Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach and Founder of Create Your Create Path
Happy New Year! It’s time for the out with the old, in with the new routine. The new year is a great time to examine, or re-examine, your job search efforts… and ask yourself, are you bringing your best to the table? If you’re hesitant at all, the answer is no and I strongly suggest you review your resume. You need to be confident not just in yourself and your abilities but in the material that reflects who you are as an employee.
Don’t let your resume fall short, this would be a mistake. It is the first impression you make on an employer and if it’s not up to snuff, it could be your last! Your first resolution should be to ensure your resume is the best it can be – step up your game in the new year….
5 tips to step up your game with your resume:
Tip #1 – Keep it Short and Sweet
Make sure it’s not too long! Although hiring managers do accept resumes that are longer, most prefer no more than two pages. One to two pages is best.
Tip #2 – Relevance
When you are trying to figure out what to include in your resume, remember that relevance is key. You only have seconds to make an impression. Pay attention to the job description when you are writing your resume. Most employers only spend 10-20 seconds reviewing the applicants resume. This is why you should only include what’s absolutely necessary and relevant on your resume. Don’t waste any valuable space with irrelevant content. Your resume should be direct and to the point
Tip #3 – Check for Mistakes
People often ask, “Will grammatical mistakes cost me the interview?” The answer is YES it can! It is absolutely critical that you double and triple check all areas of your resume. Make sure there are no spelling and grammar issues. Also be sure it is formatted properly. It is important to ask somebody to review it too, so that you can have a second opinion and second pair of eyes catch any mistakes you may have missed.
Tip #4 – Don’t Forget…
A cover letter should ALWAYS be included with your resume. The only reason why you shouldn’t is if the employer asks you not to. Look at it as the first impression you are making on them. You want it to show that you are taking your application seriously. It also gives you a chance to personally communicate what you have to offer and demonstrate that you can communicate in a professional manner.
Tip #5 – Stay Away From Resume Templates
If you have spent some time trying to write your resume and you feel stuck, we do not recommend you search for a resume template. Resumes create and reflect your brand, and unlike the bland resumes of years past, your resume can now include a little flare. How your information is presented, the sections you have created, and the flow of the information all help in the readability and unique presentation of your work experience. Remember this is your personal marketing document – make it stand out! If you really feel stuck, we recommend looking into hiring a resume writer.