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Checklist for Resume Writing: 5 Steps to Ensure Your Resume is Ready for Today’s Job Market

The resume is changing. There are a lot of reasons for this, but it does mean that if you’re just re-entering the job market, dusting off and updating the resume you wrote 10 years ago might no longer be sufficient. Instead, there are some more details that you’ve got to pay attention to.

We’ve collected together 5 of them here so that you can make sure that your resume is ready for today’s job market! In that way you can hopefully get off the couch in your parent’s basement and join the gainfully employed.

No more objectives

You know how you used to put on the top of your resume where you saw yourself 10 years from now? Yeah, that’s no longer a thing. The reason? People don’t expect to be in the same company 10 years from now that they’re applying to today. And as relationships aren’t expected to last that long, employers no longer really care that much about your long-term plans.

They’d much rather read a summary of what you’ve done and how this is relevant to the position you’re applying to. That is something that the HR department is going to pay a lot more attention to.

Keywords

It was bound to happen. Computers have gotten themselves stuck in the middle of the CV scanning process. The thing is, of course, that they’re not yet all that intelligent. That means that they’re not really reading through your CV and understanding the clever nuances you’re putting in your language.

Instead, they spend their time looking for keywords.

And so, the trick to getting past them is to make sure that the keywords that they’re looking for appear in your text. What keywords are they looking for? Generally, you can find that answer to that question by taking a look at the original advertisement.

You see, the people that are deciding what keywords the computer is looking for are more than likely also the people who wrote up the original ad. For that reason, there is likely to be some overlap between the two. So go ahead, plug them right on in there.

Watch those dates

If you’re either on the young or the old side for the job market, then be careful what dates you include. There really is no reason to include your date of birth or what year you graduated from high school.

That’s just asking people to discriminate against you.

So, just leave them out. Let them be surprised at the interview by how grey or snotty your nose is. That way you can counter whatever thoughts they might have about your age by your grasp of the subjects under discussion and your sparkling personality.

Achievements not duties

It used to be that you would list what you were responsible for. Today it’s more about achievements. Why? Because they just sound far more awesome, of course! Yes, that might have sounded like a joke, but it’s pretty much true. Achievements make you sound like you’ve done all sorts of great things for former companies while responsibilities don’t give you that edge.

And in today’s job market that’s exactly what you can use to set you apart. So no more ‘responsible for mainframe maintenance’, but instead ‘sped up mainframe performance by 7.2 percent’. While you’re at it, make sure that you use the power words that you’re supposed to give your resume that extra bit of oomph. Oh and get your text edited by one of the custom writing services. Sure, it might cost a bit of money, but it will pay you in the long run, by getting you a job that much faster.

Keep it short and simple

Do you know how many seconds the average HR person takes for a resume? 6 seconds. Yeah, that’s crazy, right? And completely unfair. I’m with you. The thing is, that doesn’t change the facts on the ground. And so, to take the best advantage of that, you’ve got to make sure that every bit of your resume is awesome.

The best way to do that? Keep out the unawesome bits. So, keep your resume short. Two pages is really the maximum that you’re allowed to go with nowadays.

Naturally, that means you’re going to have to edit and choose what goes in and what goes out. That’s hard, I know. Still, it means that you can drop a lot of the stuff that doesn’t make you look all that glamorous and instead focus on what will get you the job. That doesn’t sound so bad, right?

Last words

One more piece of advice: Make sure that you scrub your social media profiles before you start sending out resumes. I can assure you that if they start to serious think about hiring you they’ll take a look at those.

In fact, while you’re at it, start working on personal branding so that when they do Google you they’ll be impressed with what they see.

Yup, that’s right the resume has shrunk and grown at the same time. The piece of paper has shrunk down to two pages, but what they look at has grown to include every single reference about you on the internet. Scary, but no less true for that.

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