Updating Your Resume Is Not Something to Rush Into
There is hardly anyone whose job has not been affected to some degree by COVID-19. Even essential workers are suffering from long-term insecurity. For many of us, we are wondering what the future holds for our careers. One way to prepare for the other side of the pandemic is to ensure your resume is match fit and ready to go.
Updating your resume is a daunting task and guaranteed to bring out the procrastinator in all of us. But you are not going to get far in your application without a current resume, and the worst situation to find yourself in is casually looking at job openings, realising one of them resonates with you, and then scrambling to complete your resume updating in a timely fashion.
But even if you do not fall into either category, it is a good idea to be regularly updating your resume. If you have not been updating your resume regularly, you will have information on there that dates you, making you look stale. And with recruiters spending six seconds viewing a resume, you cannot afford to be anything less right on target.
Spring Cleaning Your Resume
Your resume needs to be readable. Avoid using more than one font. Keep paragraphs short. Now, make sure your basic details are up to date – address, contact details, references. Take a look at the overarching career arc you are following. With that in mind, is time to prune some of those earlier non-applicable positions from your resume? Although it is good to show upward progression, employers are primarily interested in the last 7-10 years of your work history.
Then add your most recent positions, and once this is done, take a look at your career summary and outlook. Have your goals changed since your last update? No matter what your career objectives once were, you are probably not in the same state now. Your goals and priorities evolve all the time, and your resume summary and outlook must reflect this.
If you have been laid off because of COVID-19, by all means, mention this but do not over-stress it.
If you have achieved further professional development in the way of certification, tickets or degrees, add these, the most recent first.
The Most Important Bits
The language in your resume must be positive. Avoid using a passive voice anywhere within the resume. In sentences with passive voice, it remains unclear who or what is acting. This results in very distant writing. Texts using a lot of passive voice tend to be hard and unattractive to read. Avoid using (as much as you can) the passive voice altogether. For example, rather than “The employees are informed about their financial contribution”, use “The manager informs his employees about their financial contribution”.
Use industry-specific and positive keywords. When a hiring manager looks through a pile of resumes, they scan each resume to find these keywords. Many companies even use applicant tracking systems (ATS), also known as Talent Management Systems, to screen candidates for job openings. One way an ATS works is to discard resumes that are missing specific keywords. Your application may be rejected if the software does not detect any keywords. By embedding keywords in your resume or cover letter, you will demonstrate, at a glance, that you fit the requirements of the position.
Help is at Hand
If you feel this is all too much like hard work, help is at hand. The team at Select Resumes have years of experience and have helped 100s of individuals with updating their resumes to fighting weight. As Australia gear back up. We are here to help you back into the workforce. Get in touch today and have a chat with one of our consultants.