Mac’s List friend and nationally-recognized resume guru, Jenny Foss (AKA: JobJenny of JobJenny.com) shares four practical ways to polish up your resume and make sure the “you on paper” is as amazing as “you in real life”. These fast fixes can help you get your resume ready for 2017!
You know you’re feelin’ it.
A new year is upon us, and hope and excitement is in the air.
If you’re a job seeker, you may just be thinking that this is going to be your year. (And why the heck shouldn’t it be??)
If you’re feeling the fever, it’s completely understandable – and merited. New Year’s is the perfect time for fresh starts—and January and February tend to be big hiring months in many industries. Staffing budgets are renewed for the year. Business leader — who have been out enjoying all that the season has to offer (Holiday parties! Vacations! Yule logs! Downtime!) — are back at their desks and ready to roll.
All kinds of things will be happening in the new year.
The question is: will you be ready?
How’s your resume? Is it fresh, compelling and on-point? Are you positioning yourself as a solid match for the type or types of roles you’re most interested in landing in 2017?
If no, what are you waiting for? Get ‘er done now, so that you can be ahead of the glob of people who will (trust us, they will) wake up on January 2 with a fire in their belly to make big things happen.
Let’s not wait until January 2. Let’s get you ready ahead of the pack.
Wondering where to begin? Here are four fast fixes that will help you get your resume ready for 2017:
- Talk Directly to Your Target Audience
The most basic rule of thumb on what makes a great resume is this: A great resume makes it incredibly easy for your target audience to quickly connect their “This is what we need” to your “This is what I can walk through your doors and deliver.”
The easier you make this for a recruiter or hiring manager to do, the better the odds that he or she is going to invite you in for an interview. Thus, you should pay close attention to the deliverables being called for in the job advertisements that captivate you the most. What do they need you to know how to do? If you lay out 3-4 job descriptions side-by-side, you can see where there are overlapping skills – skills that are being called for over and over again across multiple job descriptions.
Take this information and position yourself (on paper) as a clear and obvious match for these most commonly called-for skills and capabilities.
- Add a Career Summary
Lose the objective (no, seriously). These statements nearly always say little about who you are and what you can contribute in your next role. Instead of squandering your valuable top-of-page resume real estate, consider instead a career summary.
The summary section is super important because it’s your first (and possibly only) opportunity to pique the interest of your target audience, right out of the gates. If you don’t draw them into the story of you immediately, don’t expect them to get through your entire resume.
By creating a section with three or four quick statements that announce your professional brand and give the reviewer an instant snapshot of what you can walk through their doors and deliver, you’re immediately enhancing the odds that your target audience will understand how and why you line up for the role for which you’re applying.
- Add a Key Skills Section
This is an incredibly easy, efficient way to showcase core proficiencies that align with the types of roles that you’re targeting. By adding a key skills (or areas of expertise) section to your resume, you give the people reviewing your resume a simple way to see the “stuff” you’re good at. You’re also embedding the document with plenty of keywords that the resume scanning software (also known as an applicant tracking system, or ATS) might come looking for.
(Keep in mind that most mid- to large-sized companies today use resume scanning software. This means that a computer often “reads” your resume before people do.)
Which keywords should you showcase? You can figure this out by studying a few job descriptions of interest. Are there terms and skills that are being called for across multiple job descriptions? These would probably be good ones to include in this section, assuming you do have that specific expertise.
- Showcase the “So What?” About You
One of the most common mistake professionals make with their resumes is that they do a bang-up job of showcasing the duties and responsibilities they hold, or have held in prior jobs—yet they fail to expound on the “so what?” about these activities. What was the significant? The impact? The result? Why are you telling the reader about that thing that you do? Does it tie in with how you’re trying to present yourself to your current target audience? So, what about you? How and why are you a standout?
Realize that you’re probably going to be competing with people who have similar skills as you. Your job is to make it clear that YOU are the clear superstar in the pack.
Try going through your resume and, in every spot where you’ve simply listed out a responsibility you’ve held, spell out why that mattered or what it might translate into for your next employer.
Sounds easy, right? And these updates may be quick and doable for you.
But if you think you’ll need some additional help, I’ve got a special offer I’m extending just to Mac’s List readers.
From now through Tuesday, January 3, you can grab a seat in my Weekend Resume Makeover e-course at $100 off the normal price (regular price is $229 – you’re invited to join for just $129). This is the biggest discount I’ve ever offered on my easy-to-follow, self-paced video tutorial that walks you step-by-step through the proven JobJenny.com process of resume development, without torturing you in the process. (Think: learning in jammies, with egg nog.)
I’ve designed this course to be conversational, approachable and, arguably, fun. Weekend Resume Makeover provides tips and secrets on how the whole staffing and recruitment game works (including how to deal with the formidable “resume black hole”), includes sample resumes / resume templates, and answers the questions her team hears most often about resumes and cover letters.
You can check out a preview module right HERE.
(There’s also a 30-day risk-free satisfaction guarantee, so your risk in enrolling is zero.)
If this looks like your kind of resume help, simply enter the promo code: MACSLIST100 at checkout and you may start the course immediately (or wait until after the holiday festivities).
If you’re ready to make 2017 YOUR year, take time now to make sure your resume is ready to roll!
Let’s make sure the “you on paper” is as amazing as “you in real life”.