In September, we offered tips to update your resume for 2017. Now 2017 is coming to a close, holiday season is fast approaching and hiring slows down. Building off the September tips, below are some refresh pointers for the New Year. So when an opportunity lands in your lap, you will be ready to apply on the spot!
Itemize your 2017 Accomplishments: Make a list of projects, tasks, and assignments you worked on from this past year. Highlight those that were substantial, required a significant time investment or received the most praise from clients, your boss, and co-workers. These can include items that you worked on alone or as part of a team. A healthy mixture of both would be ideal as it demonstrates your ability to work independently and as a team member. If you received a new title, or took on new responsibilities, make sure to update your resume to reflect those things.
Leverage Your Performance Review: Did you have to complete a year-end assessment? Make it easy on yourself and use the content from your performance review to refresh your existing resume! Be sure to include new projects and any responsibilities you took or were selected to work on in 2017. This may require you to edit your resume, removing weaker content if you have space constraints. If you get writer’s block or if you didn’t have a year-end review, focus on positive feedback you received throughout the year. This will ensure you are emphasizing noteworthy developments and not just a laundry list of things you did. Focusing on the noteworthy developments will set you apart from other candidates.
Quantify your Accomplishments: It will take some work to ensure each bullet point answers the fundamental question of “So what”? And “how so”? Read your resume like a detective! Be critical! Recruiters and hiring managers spend 5 to 7 seconds reading resumes, so make sure you leave no questions unanswered. Don’t assume they will connect the dots and link your experience to what they require. Don’t tell the reader you “increased the reputation of a company or firm”. Answer HOW SO? Instead, write “Increased reputation of the firm by achieving 1st tier ranking from developing a year-long award strategy.” This approach is key to the success of MKS’ clients and will increase your chances of getting an interview.
Your move, Captain: Didn’t receive any positive feedback and that’s why you need a new job? Spend time tailoring your experience for the job you want to have! Use appropriate keywords from the ideal job description to make sure the job screening algorithms pick it up. Use the New Year as a time to reflect on your career goals. Where do you want to be, what is the next title you want, what type of company do you want to work for? Review your next career move and update your resume to reflect those goals. Ensure your new resume content shows growth and progression. This holiday season, while you are visiting with family and friends, tell everyone that you are looking for a new position. You never know where a new connection will come from.
Written by Megan Senese founder of MKS Resume Services.