[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Even though you’re not planning to apply for a new job, you need to update your resume at the beginning of this month. I added a new skill and gained new experience that could be a great advantage to my career, whether as a freelance translator or a content writer. I usually update my resume regularly and use it to land some new translation projects.
A strong resume is essential to getting the job of your dreams. In order to stand out from the competition, you need to tell a captivating professional story that highlights your accomplishments, skills, and personal qualities. Is your resume telling the right story or is it outdated and gathering dust? If it’s been a while since you updated it, there’s no better time than the present.
How often should you update your resume?
Every time you acquire new hard and soft skills, credentials, or significant work or volunteer experience that is related to the career path you seek, you should update your resume. Try upgrading your resume every three to six months if you don’t have time to do so more frequently (even if you already have a job).
Despite the fact that you can still make a fantastic resume when you first begin your job hunt, try to update your resume frequently to save time and save needless worry. No matter where you are in your career or job search, it doesn’t matter. It’s crucial to always have a standout resume on hand and be prepared to send it out at a moment’s notice. This can be the deciding factor in getting your ideal job.
Here is a checklist to help you address problems with your resume and update important parts of it. Make sure your resume accurately reflects your experience and skills by going over all 8 guidelines.
Your resume’s design and structure
Numerous resumes are being reviewed by recruiters, and your chances of having it rejected are very good if it is long, cluttered, or written in a difficult-to-read font. Your resume needs to be clear, short, and precise so that a hiring manager can quickly review it and get a sense of who you are and what you’ve done.
Avoid using large blocks of text; instead, use bullet points and brief sentences to generate a nice sense of white space, along with one or two call-out boxes to keep your narrative from becoming repetitive. Pick a basic font and use it consistently. When I try to be too creative, my resume just feels cluttered and outdated.
To display your professional background chronologically, from the most current to the oldest, use the reverse chronological resume format. Keep your font size between 10-12 points and use a common resume font like Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana to ensure that your words fit nicely on the page and seem well-organized.
Updating the design is one of the most effective strategies to give your resume a modern look. You can find numerous free resume templates online today. Find one that is easy to read, has a contemporary style, and works with application tracking systems.
Make strategic word choices (keywords)
You’ve probably heard that including the proper keywords in your resume is a good idea, but how do you know? From each job description, choose the relevant keywords and insert them as organically as possible. I know this because back in the office, I was helping my company find new employees and this is what I did. So make sure you find a way to use words comparable to those specified in the tasks or skills that are frequently highlighted.
Use a headline or summary to tell your story
Can someone recognize your professional brand within ten or fifteen seconds of glancing at your resume? That has to be your goal, and a headline, an objective statement, or a synopsis will help you achieve that. For example, if you are a translator and a content writer, your headline could read: “EN-ID Translator | Content Writer.”
Additionally, you might include a brief objective statement at the beginning. However, try to keep it to two words or fewer. Everyone who takes a quick look at your resume will discover not only what you perform but also some background information regarding what it’s like to work with you.
It shouldn’t take a recruiter long to figure out what you’re good at. A list of essential skills and competencies that are related to the position you’re looking for should be included on your resume. Utilizing a skills section highlights them right away and provides a quick yet comprehensive overview of what you bring to the table.
When COVID forced offices worldwide to close in March 2020, remote working abilities immediately became in demand. It’s a good idea to list any work-from-home skills on your resume now that many companies are accepting remote employment. They could find this quick read insightful enough to move you to the next stage.
Describing your experience
Although it’s crucial to emphasize your roles and responsibilities in the experience area of your resume, hiring managers are more concerned with the results you’ve achieved at work. What beneficial effects has your work had on previous employers? You can only go so far with your job responsibilities.
To show the value you bring to the table, concentrate your experience on your greatest successes and individual accomplishments when you update your resume.
Support your resume with an online presence
A link to an online portfolio gives you another opportunity to elaborate on your professional expertise, highlight your work, and provide more opportunities for a recruiter to get to know you. Short and to-the-point resumes are essential. Your best work, relevant awards, contacts in business, samples of your previous work, and volunteerism should all be highlighted.
Don’t be afraid to display your personality, either. Share your interests, hobbies, and travel experiences to show your humanity and explain why you’d be a pleasant person to work with. Don’t let the thought of creating your own website to hold a portfolio overwhelm you. You can achieve these goals by filling out your LinkedIn profile as well as using a variety of tools to make the process easier.
Check grammar or spelling
Despite how professional your resume may appear, just one typo or grammatical mistake may bring the whole thing into question. Don’t let a simple mistake ruin your opportunity to be called for an interview. Use an online grammar checker and have someone else proofread your resume to ensure proper grammar, spelling, and readability. A new set of eyes will always notice a detail that you missed.
Share a PDF resume, or make sure it’s responsive
The days of having companies print out or only read your resume on a computer are long gone. In fact, there is a considerable chance that they will be swiping through it on their phones in between meetings. Your best option is to export it as a PDF, and don’t forget to open it on a computer, tablet, or phone to ensure that it appears engaging and appealing in all ways.
Every six months or so, schedule a time to review and update your resume. It will be more difficult to update and revamp things later on if you wait too long. Additionally, by consistently keeping track of your achievements and the areas at work where you’ve had an influence, you can turn your resume into a living, breathing document that will prevent you from scrambling at the last minute.