Upgrade Your Resume
4 Resume Makeover Tips
by Linda Matias
Sometimes a little goes a long way. With a few minor adjustments, your
resume can be improved to the point where it ends up in the callback pile as
opposed to the trash bin. There are common mistakes many people make when
writing their own resumes, but there are ways to fix or avoid resume
blunders and ensure your resume will be read.
Revamp the format
Resume templates are a killer—the worst thing ever to be invented. Since
just about every jobseeker uses a MS Word template, the result is that too
many resumes have the same look and feel, making it difficult for the reader
to differentiate between candidates. When searching for a job, the last
thing you want to be is an ordinary, run-of-the-mill applicant.
A distinctive resume format will not only make you stand out from the
competition, but make you look more qualified and organized. In truth, how
your resume looks is as important as how it reads.
Stick to what is relevant
Since hiring managers don’t put much weight on outdated accomplishments,
your resume should focus on your last 10–15 years of employment. In
addition, there is no need to flesh out jobs that aren’t relevant.
Eliminating old and irrelevant jobs will provide you with the opportunity to
focus on your career objective, making the resume easier to read and less
Are you copying resume text from resume books, websites, or even your
friend’s resume? Though you can use those resources as a guide, simply
copying the information isn’t a smart move. Chances are you won’t be the
only one replicating the work of others and once again, you won’t stand out
from the crowd.
Mix it up a bit
If you find that your resume is written either in paragraph style or in
bulleted style only, consider mixing it up a bit. Use a combination of the
two. Spell out your responsibilities in a paragraph and mark your
achievements in bulleted statements. This formula allows the reader to
quickly scan your resume and pick up relevant information quickly. Below is
Promoted to oversee development
of corporate/consumer sales and implementation collateral, leading team in
building brand awareness across different lines of business. Developed
marketing plans and maintained new product/business requirements. Previously
managed staff of 22 sales representatives in providing payroll access
products and services, with total deposits of $1.5 billion and 312,000
accounts. As Business Manager, monitored 17 sites (with 1 million check
cashing volumes annually) and supervised team of 45.
- Strategic Marketing – Created New Hire Orientation Kits, Refer a
Friend Program, Cafeteria Marketing and Direct Mail Campaign to
continuously attract new consumer accounts. Directed content upgrade for
Corporate Intranet Program to WFS Website.
- Business Development – Grew fee-based revenue from $1 million to $1.8
million and spearheaded development of Integrated Sales Process to steer
focus towards new business acquisition/expansion and customer retention.
- Internal Team Building – Served on Diversity Council and Channel
Integration Team, Transaction Management Project to further company
efforts in creating unified, strong teamwork.
- Operational Improvement – Directed openings of 5 standalone CTCC
sites; streamlined operations by improving audits/controls, reducing
operating losses, closing 3 non-productive sites, re-deploying resources,
and recommending subsequently adopted business – branch system
Your resume determines the tone of your job search. With these quick tips
in mind, revisit your resume including the layout, verbiage, and overall
structure. Then determine if your resume needs a tweak or a complete
Linda Matias is President of CareerStrides and The
National Resume Writers' Association. She has been quoted in The Wall Street
Journal, New York Newsday, Newsweek, and HR-esource.com. Visit her website
or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.