July 31, 2014

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How to give your resume a facelift
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Saturday, March 08, 2014 8:28 AM

 

The process of finding a new job has changed dramatically over the last decade-plus. Whereas professionals once printed their resumes and mailed them to hiring managers in response to job postings, nowadays resumes and cover letters are largely uploaded via the Internet or emailed directly to a company's human resources department.

But how resumes are sent is not the only adjustment job seekers must make. Resumes themselves have changed as well, and professionals looking for a new job might want to tweak their existing resumes in the following ways to increase their chances of finding a new job.

• Show accomplishments rather than responsibilities. Many hiring managers are experienced enough to know the responsibilities of a certain job title. So instead of listing your responsibilities as a Regional Sales Manager, list what you accomplished during your time in that position. Be as specific as possible, listing any sales goals you exceeded and awards you might have won. Your achievements are what set you apart from other candidates with similar work histories, so use your resume to highlight those achievements instead of listing your responsibilities.

• Keep things brief. Brevity should be your friend when accentuating your accomplishments on your resume. Your resume should highlight those accomplishments and that should be enough to secure an interview. When you get that interview, that's when you can go into greater detail. But try to keep your resume to one or two pages.

• Remove older positions. Older positions, such as a long-ago college internship, have no place on a seasoned professional's resume. On a similar note, if you have long since changed careers, you may not need to include much about your previous positions in another field, especially if your work experience in your new field is extensive. Hiring managers likely won't be interested in a past work history if it's irrelevant to your current field.

• Consider a new format. Few job postings request applicants to send in their resumes via snail mail, so unlike the days of old, you probably won't be printing your resume as a Microsoft(R) Word document and mailing it to prospective employers. As a result, you might want to consider a new format when submitting your resume via a company's Web site. Word documents might be acceptable, but such documents can easily become encoded in the uploading process or won't be readable if the hiring manager has a different version of Word than you do. Consider uploading your resume as a PDF or as plain text, as such formats are less likely to become scrambled during when they are uploaded or downloaded.

• Upload your resume to a professional networking site. Many professionals are initially hesitant to upload their resumes to a business networking site such as LinkedIn(R) out of fear that their current employers will feel they are looking for a new job. But so many professionals are now members of such sites that it's no longer associated with a job search as much as it is an easy way to keep in touch with professional contacts. In addition, many recruiters rely on sites like LinkedIn to find qualified professionals, which only makes it easier to find your next job.