1. On target – Add bullet points specifically written for the role
This is an undervalued and under-utilised must-do when writing a resume that will be successful in getting you through to the next stage of the process. You don't have to completely re-write your resume, but making the commitment to add as many bullet points as possible that are specifically tailored to the job you are applying for will make a dramatic difference in your job search.
Find the employers pain points by reading between the lines in the job ad, pull terminology directly from the position description and incorporate these in the bullet points in your working history. When an employer, recruiter or computer Applicant Tracking System scans your resume the keywords and skills you've introduced will match with theirs and register a 'tick, tick, tick', sending you straight to the top of the pile.
2. Link up – Add your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network and has steadily grown to become more than just an online run-down of your job history. It is a great way to connect with employers and recruiters, a platform to share articles that express your professional interests, a place to publish personal blog posts that celebrate you as a subject matter expert in your field and a job search tool for job seekers.
Having an up to date and complete presence on the site is a must for most professionals and your LinkedIn address url should be one of the first things you add to your resume or CV when you start your job search. Use Microsoft Word's Hyperlink tool to make sure the link to your LinkedIn profile is active and clickable when you export your resume as a PDF.
Adding your LinkedIn URL when you write or update your resume ensures employers and recruiters have access to your full working history (relevant and irrelevant) and see you as a progressive, engaged and connected professional. Your resume is specifically tailored to fit each of your job applications and it should summarise relevant knowledge and skills.
3. Results rule – Add real data to your resume
Employers and recruiters are 'buzz word weary'. The things that separate you from the pack and makes your resume or CV stand out from the pile of hundreds of hopefuls are RESULTS. Add real data to your resume by including:
• Percentages e.g. "Increased open rates by 14% with Q1 campaign."
• People numbers e.g. "Managed on-boarding of 24 new staff/personnel."
• Dollars e.g. "Saved $35,000 on project cost by leading a change on external supplier."
• Frequency e.g. "Twice weekly published project updates and 6 newsletters over 12 months."
4. Give them some click candy – Add interactive links to your resume / CV
Think digital when writing a resume updating or creating your resume / CV. If it's applicable to your job, make sure you add digital portfolio links to in your resume / CV. The more they see of your work and the deeper they are able to dive into your skills and working history, the more memorable you are when compared against other applicants.
If you are a creative make sure you have your portfolio somewhere online and include this URL as an active link in your resume. Sites like Behance, Coroflot and CarbonMade are great places to start with free hosting for portfolios.
If you're a digital designer or IT developer include links to live examples of your work. You could list these as a series of links under that role in your job history or supply them at the end of your resume to allow readers to dive deeper into your work.
If you are neither a designer or a IT developer but have helped or contributed to content on your company's site or digital campaigns, you could add these link to help to increase the reader's perception of you as progressive and connected employee.
5. Up skill to impress – Add a skill or qualification to your resume / CV this year
It doesn't take a three year university degree or a night class that leaves you exhausted at the end of an already long day to increase the skills on your resume and make an impression on employers and your peers this year.
Open and online Universities offer free self paced courses that you can take at times that suit your schedule and websites such as Lynda.com, CodeAcademy, Treehouse and Coursera have a huge variety of tutorials and quick classes to help you bridge skill gaps you might have, or add to your existing box of tricks to give you the edge over other applicants. A single night on your laptop could have you confidently adding a much needed knowledge area to your Resume / CV that helps you to compete on paper, a week of online training in your spare time could have you re-thinking your whole career title!
In case you missed it:
Part 1 of 3: What you should delete on your resume
Part 2 of 3: What you should add to your resume
Part 3 of 3: What you should change on your resume
Subscribe for the latest blog posts, career advice, and more