The economy is finally starting to rebound, and since hiring managers tend to hold off on opening positions until they can be confident in upward trends, Americans have new opportunities to look forward to in the near future. That means it's time to dust off that old resume and give it a makeover.
While your qualifications remain the same, there are new trends in resume-writing emerging that are quickly becoming the status quo, and without these tips, your job search may crash before it ever gets off the ground.
1. Use Social Media
This doesn't mean linking potential employers to your Facebook photo albums so your prospective new boss can see how fun you are when you go to Cancun on a college trip. This means linking your LinkedIn profile (and if you don't have one yet, you should get one--the basic version is free) to your resume, and making sure they match.
You don't want to copy and paste your resume on your LinkedIn profile, but you should spend some time updating it so that generally they contain the same job history and responsibilities.
You should also have a recent photo on your LinkedIn profile, and while it can be candid, it should also have an air of professionalism about it. Some industries have specific databases and online networks, like Martindale Hubbell for law firms, and you can update there too.
Defining how your old skills and strengths can be used in your new career inside your resume in a proper way, with a specific format that is also appropriate for that new career, is imperative.
2. Focus on Results
It can be hard to be results-focused when your resume probably has a lot of day-to-day tasks on it. But instead of writing what you did every day or what your responsibilities were, write about how you improved the company's bottom line or made advances within your group.
Increases in revenue, improvements in safety or quality control, or quantifiable increases in efficiency and productivity are all good places to start. This shows that you know the difference between showing up for work every day and going through the motions, and actively improving your company. This shows that you're interested in actively improving their company as well.
3. Include Keywords
Keyword matches are vital to almost any job description. Certain industries have certain requirements. For example, regulatory professionals typically know how to handle investigational new drug applications with the FDA, and CPAs usually know how to handle certain bookkeeping software.
If you don't mention your certification or experience with these industry-specific qualifications on your resume, it probably won't make it past a cursory keyword search. You may be the most qualified candidate for the job, and it may seem to be too obvious to put on your resume that your seven years as a waiter required a food handling safety certification, but without these important keywords, you probably won't get a shot at an interview.
The job market is changing, and so are trends on how people apply for, interview for, and get jobs. It's important to stay abreast of current trends in resume writing, even if you're comfortable and happy in your job. The job market is always changing, and the newly rebounding economy means you have to know what people are doing to make sure they get a fair chance.
You should be constantly improving, rewriting, and updating your resume, and staying on top of job-seeking trends throughout your career. You can check out LiveCareer's Resume Builder and Jobs News tools to help you stay ahead of the game.