Chang­ing Times

How es­tab­lished pro­fes­sion­als can im­prove their re­sumes

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - CLASSIFIED -

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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