It is a good idea to perform a total resume overhaul every couple of years whether or not you are looking for a new job. The reason for overhauling your resume is to improve it and make it more attractive to potential employers. Another reason is the fact that the items that should be included on a resume can change quite often. Here’s how to give your resume a do-over without being too complicated.
Examine Resume Above the Fold
Even though most job applications are completed online, you should still perform the resume fold test. Print out a copy of your resume, fold it in half and then examine the resume prior to the fold. The area above the fold, or the top third of the resume, will be what the employer sees first when opening the document you send them digitally. You need to make sure that this portion of the resume sells you as an employee.
Submit Resume to an Unknown
An excellent way to perform a total overhaul is to give your resume to a qualified career coach or a career counselor at your university. This means that they do not know your personal work history or anything else about your life. Have them look at the resume for only 30 seconds. Once the 30 seconds are up, ask the person three things they remember from the resume and what type of story it tells readers. Take their feedback and use it to update the document.
Edit the Header Section
The header of your resume can make the document stand out from the rest of the pack when put in front of employers. If you are not a design expert, you can still make this happen. Simply change the font, size and color of the print of your name at the top. If you do this on your resume, make sure you match it on your cover letter in an effort to have your personal brand match.
Add All Types of Experience
If you feel your resume is lacking in substance, there is nothing wrong with adding all types of experience to it. This includes any part-time work, volunteer work, or even blogging you have done on the side. Any experience is an important one, so make sure you include it if your resume is lacking in substance.
Quantify Your Accomplishments
Make it a point to quantify as many of your accomplishments as possible when overhauling your resume. You need to tell employers how many people were impacted by your success or by how much of a percentage you exceeded your sales goals last quarter.
The next time you sit down to overhaul your resume, follow the tips outlined in this post to help make the process as simple as possible.