The arrival of the new year is the perfect time to revamp your resume. Typically, updating the content and format of your resume at least annually is wise. By doing so, you’re prepared to seize unexpected professional opportunities. Plus, you’ll reduce the amount of work it’ll take to get a job search off the ground.
In many cases, revamping your resume for the new year takes far less time and energy than you’d expect. If you want to ensure your resume is ready for the year ahead, here are some quick things to do.
How to Revamp Your Resume for the New Year
Use the Right Modern Design
Today, you need to make sure that your resume doesn’t just exceed expectations when in front of a hiring manager; you also must ensure an applicant tracking system (ATS) can scan the content correctly. Many of the modern resume templates showing up online are incredibly attractive, featuring columns to divide the information. The issue is that many ATSs can’t read the information in the columns correctly, so if you’re using that format, you may miss out on opportunities.
Fortunately, there are updated resume formats that look great to hiring managers and are suitable for scanning by an ATS. One example is the hybrid format. With that, you have a skills section between your professional summary and your work history. By using tabs to align the entries, you can also mimic the structure of columns without needing to insert them, ensuring an ATS can read the information correctly.
Going with a sans serif font – like Helvetica or Calibri – also tends to feel more modern. Additionally, sans serif fonts are generally the go-to option for creative positions as they come across as less reserved or stiff but still have a professional feel.
If you prefer the traditional feel of a serif font or work in a position or industry where formality is expected, try Cambria or Georgia instead of Times New Roman. Those fonts do a solid job of balancing the traditional and modern aesthetic, and since they aren’t as widely used, they can help you stand out from the pack.
Showcase Key Achievements
When updating your resume, you want to ensure that you cover any notable achievements since the last time you refreshed it. It’s critical to ensure your resume is nearly ready for your next job search, limiting how much you’ll need to add if you find yourself seeking new positions.
Check the work history entry for your current position and update it to showcase recent accomplishments that demonstrate your capabilities. As you do, make sure to quantify the details to make the entry more impactful. Also, mention any relevant skills used, particularly new capabilities that aren’t referenced elsewhere in your resume.
Once that’s complete, consider whether you have any new credentials to add to your list of certifications or other training and education. If so, add them to the list.
Finally, check your professional summary to see if any of your key achievements are worth mentioning in that section. That ensures the first major section of your resume includes relevant, recent details to entice the hiring manager to keep reading.
Optimize with Keywords
When you’re seeking new opportunities and submitting your resume for consideration, it’s common for an ATS to scan your application before it ends up in the hands of a hiring manager. Usually, an ATS is programmed to seek out specific keywords relating to a role. By including the keywords it’ll seek out, you can easily position yourself as a strong match for the job.
During a general resume refresh, you aren’t usually targeting a specific position. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize the document by adding relevant keywords. Consider reviewing the job descriptions of the types of positions you’d seek out next to advance your career. Identify the keywords that align with your current capabilities and find ways to work them into your resume.
Generally, the easiest option is to add skill-related keywords to your skills section. However, it’s also wise to incorporate them into your work history, allowing you to show how those capabilities supported various achievements. You can also include keywords in your professional summary, either to describe skills you possess that hiring managers would value or to support any accomplishments you mention.
Align with Industry Trends
When you revamp your resume, you want to ensure the content and format align with any trends in your industry. Preferences on how resumes are designed can vary from one sector to the next. Similarly, what skills or experience is in demand can change every year.
If you want to align your resume with industry trends, a bit of research is usually required. You can learn about in-demand capabilities by exploring recent vacancy announcements posted by companies in your industry or related to your professional niche. Usually, that approach helps you see what employers are currently prioritizing when seeking out candidates, making it easier to include details that match existing hiring preferences.
For resume format trends, you can seek out examples online. Just be aware that some on-trend designs aren’t ATS-friendly, so be cautious about incorporating features like tables, columns, or images, even if you see them in examples frequently.
How to Use Your New Resume in 2024 to Land Your Dream Job
Ultimately, the tips above can help you refresh your resume for 2024. The steps generally require only a bit of time and effort, but they can make a significant difference if you’re planning to find a new position during the upcoming year.
After you revamp your resume to ensure it’s ready for your next job search, why not use it to advance your career? The start of a new year is an excellent time to find opportunities, so you may have an easier time than you’d expect landing your dream position.
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If you’re ready to secure a career-boosting job, A.R. Mazzotta can make finding a right-fit position simple. Connect with a member of the skilled recruitment team at A.R. Mazzotta to find out more about what’s available, or visit our website today to learn about our wide array of opportunities.