New Year, New Job: Shape up Your Resume in 2019

It’s the time of year to think about New Year’s resolutions — and for many people, that means resurrecting and fine-tuning an old resume and starting the search for a more rewarding job in 2019. What are some ways these new job seekers can make sure their resume is ready for the job search, especially if “keywords” and “search engines” weren’t part of the job search lexicon the last time they looked for a job?

Here, Dana Leavy-Detrick, managing director of Brooklyn Resume Studio, provided the following tips to anyone about to begin a new job search in 2019:

1. Tailor your resume to the job you’re targeting. First, make sure your resume is up-to-date and includes the experience, skills and impact relevant to your current position. “But don’t stop there — the resume should really speak to the next role you’re targeting, and not the one you already have,” Leavy-Detrick stresses.

“If you’re trying to move up, include language and keywords that speak to those positions. If you’re targeting a managerial role but have yet to manage people, speak to other aspects in which you’ve shown leadership skills, whether that’s working with stakeholders, mentoring teammates, managing projects, or stepping up in a particular situation.”

2. Communicate impact versus responsibilities and experience. Leavy-asks candidates she works how they would you describe the value they brought to the organization in the roles they’ve held. “In other words, what were your accomplishments, or how did you positively impact the company?” says Leavy-Detrick.

That impact, she notes, doesn’t always have to be measurable by numbers or metrics. “It can be illustrated through accomplishments, special projects, or anything else you did that contributed to growth, revenue, profitability, new/retained customers, better ways of doing things, cultural improvements.”

3. Leave off references. They usually don’t come into play until well into the interview process anyway — and omitting them will also save space. If you must include them, consider doing so on a separate page as their own file, Leavy-Detrick adds.

4. Use color to make your resume stand out. Integrate pops of color sparingly, stick to one color that will print well (reds, blues, greys), and make sure it is industry-appropriate. “What’s considered acceptable in a creative field may be off-putting in a more corporate atmosphere,” says Leavy-Detrick, who also suggests avoiding “unnecessarily graphic elements or photographs.”

5. Create a strong digital brand presence. Unlike in pre-internet times, your resume is now only one part of your overall brand. “Recruiters also look at how you’re presenting yourself across social media, LinkedIn and other websites,” Leavy-Detrick says. “If you are visible on any of these platforms, make sure they’re professional, appropriate and convey a message that’s consistent with your resume.”

LinkedIn, for example, has become an especially important tool.

“Recruiters often cross-reference, so be sure your LinkedIn profile is in good shape, and provides a high-level overview that matches the tone, focus and messaging of the resume,” Leavy-Detrick says. “You can include social media profile links provided that they’re relevant to your industry/role and that your feed is appropriate for professional viewing. The same goes for your portfolio, whether it’s a robust creative website that houses samples of your work, or a basic site with just a few pages detailing your experience, projects, and a bio.”

A basic website — even outside of the creative industry — also can be a great tool to complement your resume and showcase your personal brand, she adds.

(Article written by Kathleen Furore)