Most of us spend a lot of time and effort keeping various aspects of our lives well-maintained – we constantly seem to be renovating our homes or overhauling our fitness plans to keep things fresh. But how often do we give our professional visage, our resume, the same attention? Why is it often left untouched and ignored until a potential job is on the cards?
A resume is your personal sales tool so regular maintenance should be on everyone’s to-do list. Here are some tips to make sure it’s always primped and preened to perfection, particularly if you’re still in a job!
Sell your skills
SEEK’s Group Organisational Development Manager Lorena Healey has reviewed many resumes and recommends succinctly calling out your talents to ensure your CV hits the mark.
“I think a resume that is laid out clearly is far more compelling to read than one that looks like an essay,” Lorena says. “A short description of the employer and bullet points that draw out key responsibilities and achievements is ideal.”
Think about including a career objective upfront, highlighting what really drives you to succeed. This is an area you can easily tailor depending on the audience or job you’re trying to attract. Also think about the skills you were asked to demonstrate in the ad for your current job. If you can reflect those in your resume, then you’ll be speaking the recruiter’s language.
Broaden your expertise
Just because you’ve left school doesn’t mean you’ve closed the door to learning. The skills you gain from continuous study can really add to your appeal as a potential employee, so why not consider a short course or degree to help broaden your knowledge base?
Scan job ads for positions you’d like to aim for in the near future, or think about the people whose careers you’d like to emulate. If it looks like you lack the skills associated with these roles, search for courses that will help you brush up. With many courses offering part-time and online study options, it’s now easier than ever to fit it in around your current work schedule.
Stay up to date
Your resume is similar to your car in that the longer you leave it unchecked, the more there is to fix the next time it’s serviced. A good way to avoid this major overhaul is to ensure you’re doing regular updates throughout the year. Are your references still the best people to speak on your behalf? Is your work history still relevant?
“Your resume needs to showcase your skills and experience so that someone picking it up can see what types of businesses you’ve worked for, your mandate in those roles, and the successes you’ve had along the way,” Lorena advises.
Regularly reviewing your responsibilities and achievements and updating your resume as soon as you acquire a new skill will make sure your most recent projects and attributes won’t be forgotten.
Think outside the box
To stand out from the crowd, why not complement your professional expertise with community work? Including volunteer experience on your resume is a great way to showcase additional skills, while also highlighting what drives you personally. SEEK Volunteer has a range of opportunities to suit everyone’s passions which, as Lorena notes, is great to call out on your CV.
“When I’m recruiting, I want to know what this person would work 24 hours a day to do because they truly love it, and if their resume can give you a glimpse of that, it will go a long way to getting you an interview.”