How established professionals can improve their resumes
Choosing to change jobs can be a difficult decision to make, especially later in one’s career. In many ways, landing a new job is more challenging than ever, thanks to the technology-driven society in which we live. Information is shared faster than ever, and applying for jobs isn’t the same as it was as recently as a decade ago.
One thing that has evolved drastically over the years is the resume. Although creating a powerful resume has always been a challenge, writing — or modifying — one for today’s digital world requires some insider tips.
Adapting a resume as one ages and gains experience can be advantageous. A well-crafted resume is one way for a professional to demonstrate how his or her skill set is current and adaptable to today’s business climate. The following tips can help you improve a resume when the time comes to move on to a new job.
Focus on your accomplishments. Rather than focusing on your responsibilities for each job you held, gear the resume around what you achieved in each position. This will help identify how you performed in the position (i.e., increased department sales by 15 percent), instead of just providing a general retelling of what you did. It can be challenging to achieve this for jobs that don’t naturally lend themselves to numerically quantitative results, but it’s still possible to use a resume to illustrate your achievements.
For example, rather than stating that you were responsible for providing customer service, explain that you built your reputation on conveying difficult technical terms to the layperson, serving as the go-to employee for translating job jargon for outside correspondence.
If you have quantitative proof of how you accomplished something, certainly add it. This can include measures of profit growth, reduction of debt or increase in customer base.
Aim for the future.
Rather than emphasize what you’ve done in the past, highlight what you plan to do.
This means giving greater weight to any expertise that will translate into your new position. Chances are, you can find skills that you honed in one or more jobs that translate into credentials that can be used on another. All skills mentioned should be relevant to your career objective, not just added to pad the resume. So unless your brief stint waiting at tables exemplifies how you developed customer-service skills, eliminate it.
Choose the right keywords.
It’s important to optimize a resume for digital scanning, which has become a major component of the employment sector. This includes using the correct keywords and phrasing so your resume will get “flagged.”
Take your verbal cues from the job advertisements themselves, and mimic the verbiage used. Replace the lingo accordingly, tailoring it to each job for which you apply. Also, consult the “about us” area of a prospective employer’s website. This area may offer clues about buzz words for the industry.
Set yourself apart. Engage in activities that can improve your marketability. Be sure to list training, coursework, degrees or volunteer efforts that pertain directly to the skills needed for the job to which you’re applying. These additions can tip the scales in your favor over another applicant.
Resumes continue to evolve, and it is crucial for applicants — especially established workers — to familiarize themselves with the changes and market themselves accordingly..
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