7 Changes You Should Make to Your Resume Before Applying for Your Next Job
Even if you're not actively looking for a new job, your resume should be ready and waiting in case your dream job opportunity comes knocking on your door. But keeping your resume up-to-date means more than just adding your most recent work experience. Resume styles change just like clothing trends do, and if you don’t adjust yours, it'll be the equivalent of wearing a pantsuit with shoulder pads (not the cool kind) to an interview.
First impressions on the page are just as important as first impressions in an interview: Recruiters spend an average of about three minutes reading a resume, and they made up their minds in the first minute. According to technology research firm Altimeter Group, one in five recruiters will reject a candidate before they’ve finished reading the resume.
We spoke with professional resume writers to learn seven changes you should make to your resume today in order to keep up with the times.
1. BE SOCIAL.
“This is a supplement to your resume,” says Graham Nelson, senior resume writer with A Better Resume Service. Nelson always recommends adding your LinkedIn address; and if you're applying for a position with a startup or in social media, pop on your Twitter and Instagram handle as well.
2. DITCH YOUR HOTMAIL EMAIL ADDRESS.
If you still have a Yahoo, Comcast, or AOL email account, you’ll want to upgrade before you start applying to jobs, Nelson says. “You’ll look passé, and this is a matter of image,” he says. Gmail is a safe bet. And if you're clinging to a cutesy or NSFW screename, it's time to change it to a variation on your first and last name (no nicknames).
3. ADD A SUMMARY.
Previously, resumes had objective statements. Now, those are out and summaries of your skill sets are in, says Anna Kondratenko, CEO of Same Day Resume. “Depending on your job, you need to make sure that you have the correct key words and correct skill in your summary statement,” Kondratenko says. For example, if you’re applying for a job in finance management, then you should add finance management, investment management, and communication skills in your summary. This is especially helpful when you are sending in an online application and the first set of eyes on your materials may be a bot scanning for keywords.
4. BRUSH UP ON YOUR SKILLS.
This section is also important, Kondratenko says. Some recruiters will skip the summary section and go straight to the skill section. For this, you can transfer keywords that you saw in the job description right into your skill section.
5. SAY GOODBYE TO TIMES NEW ROMAN.
Remember when Times New Roman was the go-to font? That’s ancient history. “That was five years ago,” Kondratenko says. Now, Cambria and Calibri are popular for resumes.
6. LEAVE YOUR MARK.
“Use the resume as a jumping off point to create a uniformly branded portfolio of job search tools,” says Dana Leavy-Detrick, founder and resume strategist at Brooklyn Resume Studio. Leavy-Detrick suggests including your website and any other logos you may have to create a look for your personal brand. And where appropriate, use font styles and colors to create a cohesive aesthetic across all of your application materials.
7. QUOTE A SUPERVISOR OR PEER.
This should be a quote that encapsulates your strengths and values, Leavy-Detrick says. Most people will add this to the end of the resume, but it could also go at the top so it’s one of the first things your audience reads, she says.