Whether you are on the hunt for a new job or happy with your current position, keeping your resume up to date is critical. You don’t want to have to revamp your resume every time you search for a job, and you never know when an opportunity will present itself. Here are five tips you can use to keep your resume fresh, professional, and interesting.
Know Your Keywords
Most employers use automated software to filter resumes for keywords. Resumes that don’t include the correct keywords are automatically kicked out of the system. That’s why your resume must include relevant skills, knowledge, and applicant qualities.
Make sure each resume you send out incorporates keywords from the original job posting, but beware of keyword stuffing, and don’t use empty adjectives.
Limit Experience to 15 Years
According to TopResume.com, only relevant roles within the past 15 years are necessary for your resume – especially when trying to stick to a one-page limit. Similarly, consider leaving out your graduation date when it’s been more than 15 years, so you do not leave yourself open to age discrimination.
Although this might seem obvious, place the most relevant parts of your resume at the top of the page. Your resume is a marketing document – the information that first catches the hiring manager’s attention will encourage them to keep reading. “Put the best stuff ‘above the fold,'” writes TheMuse.com.
Stand Out with Intent
Use your discretion here. A pop of color or well-placed icon can certainly draw an HR manager’s attention, especially in a creative field. However, in a more technical field, an overly formatted resume with a garish font or graphics could do more harm than good.
Make It Easy
Your resume is likely to be one of dozens, if not hundreds, so make it easier for the hiring manager. Make sure your resume is named appropriately (consider “John Doe Resume” instead of simply “Resume”) and save it as a PDF to avoid any issues in opening the document.
Try sending your resume to yourself or a friend first to check for problems with formatting. And, although it should go without saying, proofread, proofread, proofread!
No matter your current career status, ensuring your resume is the best possible representation of your achievements is the first step on the path to success.
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