If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, it’s time to make it happen by updating your resume.
Once your resume has covered the basics, it’s crucial to include the elements that will make you look like the best candidate for any role: showing your eye for detail is locked onto industry trends.
- Make yourself known. It’s a simple thing many people miss: include your contact details in your resume. Include them in the header or footer of your resume to make sure they appear on every page. Any second spent looking for your email or phone number might just consign you to the reject pile.
Another way to make yourself known is slightly contentious - should you include links to your social media? The short answer is only if you’ve spent time building a personal brand on social media discussing topics relating to your job, and to show you’re part of the industry.
While it may not be an obvious choice to include your social media accounts, Charles Young, Director of recruitment specialists Citak, says employers will search potential employee social media accounts even if you don’t include them, so, “if you get shortlisted, you may as well anyway.”
“Even developers need to show their GitHub account,” explains Charles. “People should show they are passionate about the job they’re applying for as an extension of the social media blueprint”.
Before you link, remember to review all your social media channels and make sure you have the appropriate security measures on all your posts and accounts.
- Make it look good. A resume that’s easy to look at is one that’s easy to read and hard to dismiss, so making sure your resume looks good can only help your job search.
It’s easiest to read clear, legible black font (10 to 12 point size, preferably with a serif font) on a white background for high contrast, especially when a harried employer is reading their 40th resume.
The big trend for 2016 is infographic resumes, especially for sales/marketing and tech jobs. Plot your career milestones, brands, work results and skills. It’s the perfect way to stand out from the pack and show a little more of your personality. Have a look online for inspiration and take the lead.
- Make it read well. It doesn’t matter how many colours or graphics you use if your resume doesn’t read well. Potential employers will look at your resume on a screen, which will alter their reading behaviour and if they’re pressed for time, make it easy for them by keeping it simple. List what you did, what you achieved and move on to the next job. Get rid of information that won’t hire you (hello, old software programs) and use bullet points and an active voice so employers can scan instead of dig for information in your resume.
- Make it match the job. When employers read your resume, they’re looking to see how you meet the advertised job description. If you use the words from the job ad and description in your resume, you’re showing that you have the exact skills they’re looking for.
This is because some employers will run resumes through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which is on the look out for specific keywords (generally also included in the job ad). If they’ve mentioned a skill or requirement, use those terms to describe your own professional experience.
If that feels cumbersome to do throughout the entire resume, have a skills summary at the top of your resume and list the shared skills and requirements up top – that way it’s easy for both the reader and the ATS.
Add your new and improved resume to your SEEK Profile today, and let opportunity come to you.
Write your cover letter with the same voice you’d use at a meeting: relaxed, knowledgeable, to the point and with the odd joke or bit of personality thrown in (if appropriate).