If you are on the hunt for a new job, it’s time to kiss your resume. There are two very important ways to kiss your resume and I’m going to tell you how to do it.
This is an employer’s market for hiring new employees which means there are hundreds of other resumes that are attached to the same posting. Whether or not the employer uses the electronic gatekeeper (also know as the applicant tracking system) or not, you need to make your resume stand out in 6.25 seconds.
So why do you need to be tender and loving to your resume? You need to Keep It Simple & Short (KISS). Here are some tips:
Take your most amazing achievements, accomplishments, career highlights and try to limit them to one sentence each.
Highlight the skills, knowledge, abilities you have based on the job description, try to match words.
Limit your resume to one page (AMAZING!!) or at the most two pages (very doable)
Treat it like an executive summary or highlight reel – you want them to get to know more based on how fantastic you are
Don’t include “filler” sentences – I’m quite accomplished in… My previous experience is…
Don’t copy your previous job description duties; your personal touch and tone get lost in what other people have written
If you’ve done the Keep It Simple & Short, then take the next step and kiss your resume goodbye! (But you just told me to revamp it??!!) Yes, but, your resume is just a piece of paper that figuratively gets lost in the shuffle unless you market yourself as well.
Some of the most exciting career paths I’ve seen are ones where the people are accomplished networkers. They have a personal brand in which they sell themselves at every event that they attend whether it’s business related or not. These superb networkers have not needed to supply a resume up front to a role because their reputation is well known. More often, they are asked to come to interviews because of what they have to offer and then the resume is just a formality.
Where to start with networking depends on your industry and profession. Here are some preferred networking events that I like to attend:
Professional associations – meetings, professional development, training, etc.
Law update seminars – small business owners and HR personnel alike attend these
Business organizations – Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, city/town business associations, non-profit mixers
Fundraisers or volunteer opportunities – charitable events have lots of opportunities to connect with a more informal atmosphere across industries as well
Career fairs – if you are lucky enough to attend one of these as an employer, you’ll get to passively check out the other companies there
Alumni events – post-secondary institutions always have events for alumni and/or for organizations to share their passion with current students and recruit them, and some even offer "beginners night for networking"
If heading out to a networking event seems too daunting, then start letting your own network of friends and family know you are open to new opportunities in the area of X (whatever work you are looking for). Chances are someone in your personal network will know of an opportunity that fits your search.
While there may not be smooches involved with your resume, if you follow these two very important steps to kiss your resume, you'll set yourself apart from the crowd and be on your way to a new career much sooner!