As 2021 comes to a close, you may be thinking, is it time for a career change? Understanding how to update your resume effectively can seem like a daunting task. You may be asking yourself: What are recruiters looking for? How can I beat out the competition? How do I stand out?

Recruiters do not have a lot of time to look over resumes. In fact, the average recruiter looks at a resume for just 6 seconds! We have put together a list of our best resume tips to help your resume stand out and land that new job!

Tailor to Your Industry

Resumes should not be interchangeable. Spend time reading the job description in detail and then focus on your past experience and achievements that relate closely to the job you are applying for. Avoid stuffing your resume full of experience that is not relevant. This will likely cause the recruiter or hiring manager to move on from your resume quickly.

Keep it Concise and Visually Appealing

Recruiters and hiring managers see hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. We suggest sticking to a clean and simple resume. This ensures that your resume will look great in a web browser, a phone, a tablet, or an applicant tracking system.

Make sure you are using a clean, readable font and bolding titles or advanced achievements. If you work in Sales, Marketing, or other “number” fields, we highly encourage detailing your success with numbers. For example, “Increased yearly profits by 30%.”

Include Keywords

Always include specific keywords from the job description. A lot of companies use Applicant Tracking Systems. One way an Applicant Tracking System narrows a candidate pool is by keyword search. Think of it as a Google search for prospective applicants. To increase your chances of standing out, take the time to customize your resume by adding those important keywords.

Highlight Your Achievements

Most candidates concentrate on outlining their duties and responsibilities. While that is good, it only tells the recruiter what you did or do. By highlighting your achievements, awards, and accomplishments, you are showing your potential employer what you did. We know a lot of people struggle talking about their accomplishments, but we promise this will put you ahead of the game.

Always Proofread

I think this step goes without saying, but we needed to include it anyway. An error-free and easy to read resume demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism. Any time you make an update to your resume, please proofread.

Ask for Feedback

Once you have curated your resume for the specific role you are applying for, send it off to a few trusted individuals. It may be helpful to also send along the job description. Having an outside source review your resume can ensure you do not have any grammatical mistakes.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is just as important as your resume. Before you hit ‘Apply’ or press send, head over to your LinkedIn page to make sure it is up to date and aligns with your resume.

Here are a few things you should update prior to applying:

  • Have a clear, professional profile picture with a simple background
  • Make sure your work history is current
  • Update the headline to the type of work or role you are looking for
  • Optimize the skills section
  • If possible, ask your connections to endorse you

There are many ways to make your resume stand out to a hiring manager and recruiter. There is no one size fits all but the goal is to match up your experience and accomplishments with what they are looking for. Make it easy for them to see that you are the right candidate for the job.