Chances are, you created a resume when you finished high school and all you’ve done since is just update your work experience and references. The job market has changed a LOT in just the last few years, let alone since you created your first resume. I’m sorry to say it, but your dull, inefficient, long resume just won’t cut it anymore. It’s probably the reason you’re not getting as many job interviews as you deserve. And on that note it’s time for a resume makeover! We’ve collated some great advice from some experts about how to create a killer modern resume that is more likely to get your hired in today’s job market.
Whether you’re looking for your first job out of university, or you’re looking for a change in career, your resume is still one of your most important tools, even if you don’t have the experience. It’s important to make your resume stand out and get noticed – without being showy.
Let’s Start at the Top.
Career coach Jennifer Braganza told Time Magazine that the top one-third of your resume is what a recruiter will scan to determine if they even bother reading the rest of your resume… and they only give it 3 seconds!
This means you need to make sure that the most relevant stuff is at the top. This would be your most relevant job history and achievements, and any skills and qualifications. A lot of people begin their resume with a little ‘About Me’ profile. Personally, I think this is a waste of time. It’s never what you want to hear as an employer as it’s usually meticulously crafted to make you sound like the perfect candidate. In a modern resume, scrap it. Instead, try to list your skills and qualifications and your most recent job, including any thing that you’re really proud of or awards you received while completing this job.
Ditch the contact information at the top of the page. If a recruiter wants to hire you, they will find your contact information where you have left it (clearly marked at the bottom of the page is a good idea).
Make it Relevant.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had quite a few jobs to get me through the first few years of adult life. Your new employer does not need to know about the two bars, thee restaurants and the McDonalds you used to work at, unless you’re applying for another job in hospitality. This might also mean that you will need to tailor each resume to the specific job you’re applying for depending on what the employer is looking for. Your modern resume should have no more than 3-4 relevant employment positions – if you have more that you want to show off you can also list them briefly in dot point format below the main ones (this is also good if you don’t want to look like you’ve had gaps in your resume).
Your skills and qualifications should also be relevant to the job. No one wants to know about your Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate if you’re applying for an office-type job.
To Selfie or Not to Selfie?
Adding a head shot to your resume is a trend that began at the start of the decade. I saw it popping up everywhere when I reviewed resumes for a company I used to work for. If you’re looking for a job that does rely on your looks, then by all means, it’s appropriate. You don’t get hired because you’re hot, and in 2017, your looks should not be a factor in hiring you. Ditch the head shot.
Keep it Simple.
Today there is so much that we need to fit into our busy schedules – a busy recruiter or employer is no different! This all ties into making sure the relevant information is easy to find. A modern resume should also be short and to the point. You should be able to fit your skills, qualifications, education, work experience, contacts and references on one page, and no more than two depending on your font choices.
Cover Letters are Important Too.
According to ABC recruiter Alex McClintock, your cover letter is almost more important than your resume. But he finds that many people just summarise their CV which is pointless if they have your resume to read too. He uses the cover letter as a way for the candidate to introduce themselves and explain why they’d be good for the job. This means you really need to write each cover letter for each job you’re applying for and not just a template where you change the company name. Make sure you outline your understanding of the role your applying for and the organisation. You can talk about why you would be good for the role which can include some experience and qualifications, but use it as a way to pitch your vision for the role which is something you can elaborate on in the interview.
Spell Check. Spell Check. Spell Check.
I can’t say this enough! Spelling and grammar is EVERYTHING. If you can’t master these most basic skills, then why would someone hire you? Especially with free online tools that check your spelling and grammar for you, there is literally no excuse for mistakes in a modern resume! That being said, also have a real person read over your resume and look at it critically.
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