The worst part of the whole job-hunting process is crafting a resume that explains who you are and what you’ve done before any sort of personal introduction. But it doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Here are seven ways to help you update your resume in less then 30 minutes.
STYLE YOUR NAME
Your name is your calling card. Make sure it pops with a font that’s heavier and several sizes larger than the main text. Try stacking your first name on top of your last name, using all caps or making one name bolder and/or a different color than the other. Keep the font for your contact information within the same family, but make it smaller and lighter. Centering this section can come across as a bit too conservative, so try aligning left or right, or using a column format.
CHANGE THE ORDER
Rearrange your resume so your job history is in reverse chronological order, beginning with your present position. Your education comes next, and then a list of technical and soft skills. Finish strong with a section on industry honors and accolades.
UPDATE YOUR LOOK
The design of your resume is important. You don't need to revolutionize its look, but often times its a matter of simply choosing the right font and color. Add white space to create focus, improve readability and avoid overwhelming the reader.
Bullet points make it easier for employers to scan your resume quickly, since they're intended to grab the reader's eye and lead it to key points you want to make. Use them when you can, especially when you're highlighting skills or accomplishments.
GET TO THE POINT
Hiring managers are busy and receive 23 resumes, on average for every open creative position. Don’t make them spend extra time picking out what you’ve done and where you’ve been. Make it easy for them to scan your work history by highlighting section headers and bolding job titles. The judicious use of hairline rules, colors and bullets can help direct the eye. If your job descriptions are too long, say, more than four or five lines for each position, be ruthless in pruning them back.
CUT WHAT'S UNNECESSARY
Resumes, like anything else, follow trends, and the latest is to nix the objective, hobbies, irrelevant skills and the gratuitous “References available upon request” line. This will net you more white space and keep your resume concise. The time and place to showcase your personality is the in-person interview; serious contenders will be asked to submit references later in the hiring process. So, what’s in? A catchy summary tailored to the job you’re applying for to replace the traditional objective.
AVOID THE CLICHES
If you don’t want to bore the prospective employer, skip resume buzzwords like “qualified,” “experienced with” and anything involving “synergy” and “outside the box.” To really stand out, find fresher words to describe your expertise. The star of the winning resume is not the catch phrase, noun or adjective, but the action verb. Prospective employers want to know what you’ve done, so begin sentences and phrases with dynamic terms such as “created,” “pioneered,” “orchestrated” and “supervised.”
PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD
Nothing ruins a good first impression like typos and misspellings. Even though you’re applying for a job in design, where images and artistry reign supreme, employers still want to hire staff who know their “its” from their “it’s.” So proofread your resume through several times before saving, creating a PDF and sending it off.
Your resume is the foundation of your brand and is your primary marketing tool. So, keep it current at all times because you never know when you will need it, for that next promotion or a new job.