Every six months or so, it’s a good idea to update your résumé. Even if you’re not in the market for a new job, it’s something you should do. You never know when an opportunity for advancement within your current organization will arise or when you’ll get that dreaded pink slip. It’s at these moments when an up-to-date résumé comes in really handy.
While you’re updating your information on your résumé, why not take some time to make some small changes that can really make it pop?
Get rid of the Microsoft Word Templates. Part of making a résumé pop is having a unique layout. It’s hard to be unique if you use the same template that every other candidate is using. There are plenty of great résumé templates out there. Take the ones you like and mesh them together to make your own unique layout.
Use bullets, bold, and italics effectively. You want to make your résumé as scannable as possible. Use formatting to assist in this.
Give figures and be specific. In your past job descriptions or volunteer section, give specific figures of what you accomplished while holding that position. For example, I used to train third party verifiers for gas and electric companies. Instead of just putting “trainer”, I put “Trained 15 new employees on how to perform third party verifications.” If your only job experience are part time jobs during college, put down how many hours you worked during a week while going to school full time. This shows employers that you know how to multi task and manage your time.
Be confident. Your résumé is not the time to be modest. Your goal is to sell yourself to the interviewer. If you have a big accomplishment, make sure to include it. Be proud!
Read up on copywriting. Copywriting is the art of writing to sell. By studying copywriting you can learn which words are the most effective and powerful in getting your message across. A great place to start is Copyblogger.com. Also, go by your library. There are tons of books on copywriting.
Don’t lie. This is a given, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who fudge their résumés. You can make yourself look good without having to be dishonest. Nothing can hurt your reputation more than lying on your résumé.
Check for grammar and spelling errors. Repeat. Then repeat again. Remember, your résumé is a reflection of you. If it’s full of typos, recruiters will automatically assume you do sloppy work. Take the time to edit your résumé again and again. Have your friends take a look at it as well for editing purposes.