Any time is a good time to set new career goals, but January – with renewed motivation and all the potential of a new year ahead of us – is often a time when we find ourselves reflecting on a career move.
If you’re one of the countless professionals who make a New Year’s resolution to land a new job, enter a new field or earn a promotion, now is the time for a resume refresh.
Even though resume styles vary depending on the job seeker and the job sector, the purposes of a resume are universal: get an employer’s attention, summarize your skills and attributes and entice the employer to learn more about you. Here are few tips to take your resume from ho-hum to high-impact.
Summarize it. There was a time when most job seekers jumped from their objective straight to their education or work experience. That usually meant a hiring employer needed to read an entire resume to get a good idea of what the candidate had to offer. But it’s unrealistic to expect an employer to read every word of every resume. In fact, some studies show employers spend fewer than 10 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if they want to know more about the candidate.
A strong resume hooks the reader fast. A summary, located near the top of your resume, is a great way to do this. Include your years of experience, work history and highlight your most significant professional accomplishments.
Include your LinkIn URL. Listed in the contact section of your resume, your LinkedIn URL will give employers the opportunity to easily learn more about your experience and accomplishments.
However, be sure your LinkedIn profile is fully developed. A profile that doesn’t offer more than your resume doesn’t increase your chances of landing an interview. Furthermore, a bare-bones profile could give an employer the impression that you are apathetic and don’t value their time.
On the other hand, the recommendations you gain, the groups you’re following and the content you share in status updates illustrates the passion you have for your work.
Show results. Most of a resume is dedicated to showcasing your work experience. Keep in mind that employers want more than titles and tasks. They want mini stories.
Remember the SAR technique. Briefly describe a situation at work. Explain the action you took to address the situation. Report the results realized such as increased productivity, quality, sales or customer satisfaction.
As you highlight your work experience, consider what has made you stand out in your current and previous positions. Employers want to hear more about that and less about routine job duties.
If your resume needs a refresh, or even if you’re starting to develop a resume for the first time, the Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail is here to help.
With locations in Bardstown, Elizabethtown, Lebanon and Leitchfield, our career counselors offer free resume assistance through regular workshops, individual coaching and even access to computers and other resources. You can learn more about our services at www.ltcareercenter.org.
Jerisia Lamons is client service manager at Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail, which is overseen by the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board. She can be reached at 270-766-5115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.