When was the last time you updated your resume? If you’re like me, you update your resume when looking for a new job. However, the optimal time is right now! Keeping your resume current at all times takes away the stress of updating your resume during crucial times.
5 tips to create a better resume
- Keep a master list – Expecting to remember every job and every aspect of that job is unrealistic. Create a master document that you update regularly when you gain more skills. Then go a step further and list out if the job duty highlights soft skills. Below is an example:
- Developed and implemented a four person task force to collect, analyze, and resolve customer grievances. Customer satisfaction improved by 52% since implementation (leadership, teamwork, communication)
- Don’t sell yourself short – People often underestimate their skill set, women even more so than men. Therefore, have confidence when updating your resume! If you lack confidence when writing about yourself, pretend you’re writing about your best friend; we typically are less critical of others. Just don’t be too over the top. There is a difference between being confident and outright lying.
- Personalize it – just as each job is different, your resume should be too. Only include skills that show you in the best light and relate back to the job description. My trick is to highlight and number the skills on the job description then read my resume. When I come across a skill that appears in the job description, I highlight it and write the corresponding number. With this method, I guarantee that I spotlight skills the company asks for.
- Keep it 2 pages or less – Resumes are summaries of your experience, skills, and education. Resist the temptation to overshare and keep it 1 page front and back. Remember white space is your friend.
- Get outside help – If you struggle writing resumes, look for outside help. Use templates and don’t worry about formatting. Ask friends and family to proofread your work. Contact paid resume services if you can afford them. At minimum, strive for two pairs of eyes looking at your resume before sending it off.
Remember, the average resume is looked at for only three seconds. It is important to do everything you can to make sure you stand out in the short time you are given.
Lastly, the American workforce is moving towards the expectation that companies design a work culture that values employees — including their time, experience, necessary accommodations, and overall well being. That culture starts at the job application process.
3 ways to improve company culture through your job application process
- Generate a public pay scale – Jobs are no longer solely about applying for what you love. Applicants must factor in if they can afford to take the job and continue paying the monthly bills. Applying for jobs that do not publish a pay scale is a risk, and it can create a lot of disappointment when a job offer comes in, only to learn that you can’t afford the pay. By publishing a base rate or pay scale, applicants know that information before applying. One of my favorite sayings is “Show me your budget and I’ll show you what you value”. If you value your employees, you should proudly display the pay.
- Create and publish a master document – Companies want to maximize job engagement by posting on multiple job boards, Yet all of them have different rules about what can and cannot be displayed. Strive for a culture of transparency and develop a master document, which gives complete details of the job description, pay, benefits, work schedule, and all other relevant information. The master document could be linked in the job board description — or company website — meaning that all applicants have access to all the information. Furthermore, when applicants can access all the information, they are better able to make informed decisions about whether the job and company work for them. This saves both company and applicant time since the applicant can self select.
- Send out courtesy emails – With hundreds of candidates, it is tough to find time to reply to every single one. This is why mail merge exists! As applications appear, place candidates in a spreadsheet, input the information you want to collect (at minimum name and email), and create a column to describe if they move onto the next step. This makes it easy to sort the applicants by those moving forward, and those not. Move the no’s into a new spreadsheet, and you’re ready to start the mail merge process. This simple 20 minute step will generate tremendous respect and gratitude from the applicants.
If you have a sure fire way of standing out with your resume, or your company has a distinguished way of creating a positive work culture, share your secrets and tips on social media and tag us @SAVMA.org.