A new year means a new opportunity to land a better job, and perhaps better benefits and a higher salary to go along with it. But to score that new role, you'll need to wow prospective employers with an awesome resume, so rather than blindly submit the same one you've been using thus far, make the following updates -- because they just might increase your chances of getting called in for an interview.
1. Add in recent accomplishments
Maybe you recently revamped your company's content management system, or upgraded major computer equipment that reduced downtime in a very big way. No matter what it was that you achieved over the past few months, think about your most recent wins and give them prime billing on your resume. This way, you'll show potential employers what you're capable of.
2. Update your skills
Perhaps you've mastered a new coding language or gotten certified in something industry-specific over the past year. If that's the case, make sure that information makes its way onto your resume. You never know when expertise in a specific skill might give you the edge over another candidate.
3. Kill the objective
It used to be that resumes were expected to start off with an objective statement -- things like "Seeking accounting position in growing firm." These days, however, recruiters and hiring managers would rather see a compelling personal summary – for example, "Master troubleshooter with in-depth tech knowledge." If your resume still has an objective statement, get rid of it and replace it with an opening statement that not only says more about you, but is more interesting to read.
4. Check for consistency
It's easy to throw a few new lines or statistics on your resume and call it a day. But before you do, make sure they're consistent with the rest of that document. For example, if you previously wrote that you helped increase sales by "30%," don't write out the word "percent" if you're including some new data to build a case for hiring you. Similarly, be sure any updates you make feature the same font size and style you've used throughout the rest of that document.
5. Give it a thorough proofread
Chances are, you were smart enough to proofread your resume during your first go-round. But once you've made your updates, you'll need to go through the process again -- not just with regard to your new content, but your preexisting content as well. You never know when you might catch a hard-to-spot error, and if you're able to fix an old mistake before submitting your revised resume, you'll avoid getting rejected because of poor grammar. Another thing -- in proofreading your entire resume, you might come up with a better way to describe a responsibility or skill you previously had listed, so it never hurts to sink a few extra minutes into getting that document just right.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to refresh your resume if you haven't done so in quite some time. And with any luck, those changes will help increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams.
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