Resume requirements change from job to job and from year to year — the skills and features that were useful in, say, 1997 may not apply today. Here are a few quick updates you can make to get a stellar resume and that interview of your dreams.
1. Ditch the objective section. You want to advertise what you can do for a company, not what a company can do for you.
2. Summarize your fabulousness near the top. Replace that outdated objective section with a summary of your qualifications. What do you really need an employer to know to fall in love with you? “Copyediting wizard so wise that I know copyediting is actually one word, despite the red underline from Microsoft.” “Spectacular saleswoman who moved more product than anyone else at Victoria’s Secret in 2016.” Think of this section as the same as your “summary” section on LinkedIn. Be charming!
3. List your skills at the top. No one gives a damn about soft skills. Oh, you’re a hard worker? So is everyone else (on their resumes, at least). Focus on hard skills: Can you Photoshop your head seamlessly onto Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body and have people believe it’s really you? Can you lift more than 300 pounds? Do you speak Mandarin? Tell people here, but be sure to tailor the skills you list based on the job listing for which you’re applying: You’re more likely to get picked up by scanning software if you have the particular skills for which they’re hunting.
4. Quantify your success. Don’t just say you’re good at client retention, prove it: Cite specific examples with numbers. For example, “skilled at client retention” doesn’t sound as good as, say, “Repaired company relationship with $15 million client X and moved an additional $200,000 worth of units.” “Videos netted millions of views” doesn’t sound as strong as “Netted 8 million views on original content and 7 million for branded sponsorships.”
5. Trim the fat. If you’ve been in the workforce for five years, you don’t need to list your after-school job scooping ice cream on your resume anymore. Try to cap it at the last decade. (This doesn’t necessarily apply to entry-level workers, who may have to dig deep for relevant experience.)