If you’ve started to look for a new job, you probably know that updating your resume comes into the equation. Focusing only on your resume isn’t the way to go as there is a lot more to your job search including looking at your networks, getting clear about who you want to work for and exploring channels to market yourself to that targeted organisation. Here are some crucial tips to remember when writing your resume…
1. Keep it simple
When we assign too much importance to our resumes, we are in danger of over-complicating them by adding all kinds of trimmings and irrelevant information. Don’t turn your resume into your autobiography.
2. Think like a recruiter
Speaking of recruiters and headhunters, they receive piles of resumes for each available position and initially only skim each document, looking for quick information to point them towards the most suitable candidates to longlist/shortlist. Pepper your resume with keywords that stand out and put the information that shows you’re suited to the position near the top of document.
3. Resumes alone do not secure jobs
Contrary to the beliefs in modern society, Resumess are not the be all and end all. Your resume is not going to secure your dream position by itself; regardless of its quality. The way forward is to combine a straightforward and targeted resme with the use of your connections. Use your network to leverage leads to job openings, rather than spamming out your resume to a whole bunch of strangers just because you saw a job ad.
4. Resumes are best served warm
Even if you don’t have any connections who’ve been, or are, involved in the organisation you want to work for, there are still ways to avoid ‘cold emailing’ it to the employer. Phone the company to see if there’s anyone you can speak to about the position. Many job vacancies – especially senior ones – now include a contact name and number for anyone who wants to discuss the role before applying.
5. There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’
It is surely better to tailor your resume to each individual vacancy as opposed to reaming off copy after copy of exactly the same document to a diverse array of employers. Even if the positions you’re applying to all have the same title, there will be subtle differences between each job spec and the various organisations will certainly have differences that will make what they want – and their recruitment processes and logic – unique.
6. Take your time
Although you shouldn’t spend ages and ages laboriously turning your resume into an intricate, jam-packed work of art, you shouldn’t rush it either. Take your time over each application rather than rushing through them into order to send as many out as possible. Applying for a mass of jobs is not going to make you more likely to land to one if each application is sub-par.
Nisa Chitakasem is the co-founder of www.positionignition.com, one of the UK’s leading career consulting companies.