Give Your Resume a Makeover Using 3 Simple Tips
Do you like watching makeover stories? For many, there’s an endless fascination and sense of fulfillment in seeing individuals, homes, or not-so-well-behaved canines be transformed into better versions of themselves.
Your resume makeover could be the next interesting story (minus the cameras, crews, and commercial breaks) when you apply these tips to transform it into a more effective presentation of your skills, education, and professional results.
Before we get started, we’d like to acknowledge that for some, this process can seem daunting. You might rather go to the dentist than update your resume.
To help overcome your hesitations and concerns, apply these tips in phases (remember, Rome was not built in a day) and have a friend or trusted advisor review your final output.
Remember, time spent on building a compelling resume yields real dividends, so let’s get started.
Tip 1: Focus on Results
It can be challenging for recruiters and hiring managers to extract your professional results if your resume includes a lot of day-to-day tasks. Rather than listing your tasks or your responsibilities, provide the following:
- Detail how you’ve improved your employer’s bottom line or made advances within your group.
- Include increases in revenue; improvements in safety or quality control; or quantifiable results in efficiency and productivity.
Highlighting results shows your deeper concern for actively improving companies with whom you work, rather than solely revealing your completed tasks or checklists.
Tip 2: Include Keywords
Keyword matches are vital to almost any job application; most industries have certain requirements. For example, pharma regulatory professionals typically understand the process for handling investigational drug applications with the FDA, and CPAs are often adept at interpreting information from popular bookkeeping software.
If you fail to mention your certifications or specific experience/skills on your resume, it probably won’t make it through a cursory keyword search. You may be the most qualified candidate for the job, yet it might have seemed too obvious for you to include a food handling safety certification required during your years as a waiter/waitress.
In the technology or cybersecurity field it especially important to include your IT certifications. Qualifications such as the CompTIA A+ or the EC-Council's CEH are often used as a benchmark by IT Recruiters for certain roles.
By failing to include important keywords, you likely won’t ever get a shot at an interview.
Tip 3: Include a Link to Your LinkedIn Profile
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume (and if you don’t have a LinkedIn account yet, get one–the basic version is free). Then, make sure you do the following:
- Make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile align. Invest time in updating both, so they show parallel information about your job history, skills, responsibilities, and activities.
- Also, be sure to include a recent photo on your LinkedIn profile, which can be candid or creative, but always somewhat professional.
Continue to Makeover Your Resume
For resume makeovers to remain effective, you should consistently improve, rewrite, and update your resume; and stay on top of job trends throughout your career. Listing results on your resume will effectively show potential employers your achievements in your work. Performing quick keyword research should remain a part of your job strategy. Finally, allowing potential employers to see you on LinkedIn will offer greater insight into your story.
About the Author: Based in Baltimore, Gina Palladino is a training and workforce development consultant at Silver Tree Consulting. Gina served as an advisory council member of the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAMI) and is a member of the Fort Meade Alliance. She holds a BA in English from St. Joseph’s University and a lifetime member of the Sandler Sales Training Program; she also holds certificates in job searching skills, career planning, and sales.