If your resume is not getting the interviews you expected, now is the time to review it and follow through on these New Year resolutions:
Resolution 1: Believe in yourself. You have hard and soft skills, experience, and accomplishments that will bring value to future employers. Let your resume focus on you, not on “creative” formats, half-truths, and wishful thinking.
Resolution 2: Lose the deadweight. Read through the job postings and advertisements for the information potential employers really want and target your resume. You may be extremely proud of your first job more than 10 years ago; but if your first job has no bearing on the job you want now, use the space more profitably to describe your current skills, experience, and accomplishments.
Resolution 3: Look before you leap. If you make one change, reread the whole resume. As tedious as this advice sounds, over and over again I have seen resumes where one change meant the wrong punctuation was left in place; an entire sentence was inadvertently repeated word-for-word; or dates on jobs overlapped in an impossible way.
Resolution 4: Trust yourself. You do have skills, accomplishments, and education that would bring value to employers. Do not let old cautions about “boasting” stand in your way but do not lie. Read job descriptions, postings, and advertisements carefully. They will tell you what employers are looking for and what content your resume should include; you want your resume to quickly and honestly tell recruiters and hiring managers why you are their best choice.
Resolution 5: Step away from the computer. This resolution has two aspects. First, face-to-face networking and relationship-building is vital to any job search; do not spend all your time researching jobs online. Second, electronic spellcheckers have limited benefit and grammar checkers are worthless. Proofread your resume on your own on paper and on the screen. Only you can tell if you meant “about expectations” or “above” or if that semicolon should be a period. Computers do not know.
Resolution 6: Never assume. For example, you may have assumed the company you did business with was “Wal-Mart Inc.” when it is actually “Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.” and it is branded as Walmart (without the hyphen).
Resolution 7: Be consistent. Within resumes, a dollar amount might be given in one place as $1 million, in another as $1M, and in yet a third as $1,000,000. Between the resume and interview, an important skill might get forgotten; information on social media might fall out of date entirely. Inconsistencies raise questions about your attention to detail at best and your honesty at worst.
Resolution 8: Accept help. Consult a professional resume writer. I really do make a difference for my clients. Contact me today.