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When did you last update your resume?
Well, lets set the scene, you’ve been employed for a good stretch of time (yay!), an updated resume might seem low on your to-do list. We get it: It’s no longer a priority, it falls well off the radar. But if you don't update a resume promptly and let it go stale, you put yourself at a disadvantage - and in for a headache and scramble down the line, compromising the quality of how you promote yourself.
One of the challenges in a volatile environment is that you never know when your situation may change, or when another opportunity might pop it's head up out of the blue.
For many people, “updating their resume feels like going to the mechanic —they know they should do it, but they avoid it at all costs,” says Josh, our executive. Being real, a constantly updated resume isn’t realistic, but there are milestones in your career when your resume needs a tune-up.
4 Times to Update your Resume
1. When you start a new job
The best resumes highlight your key achievements—not job responsibilities, thats just a list of things that will make the reader's eyes glaze over.
But when you’re a new employee, you don’t have any real accomplishments yet. Instead inserting snippets from the job posting onto your resume, tell the story of why you were hired.
Now is also the time to update your career summary section. Tweaking this part of your resume while your value proposition is fresh in your mind is highly recommended, this way you dont lose sight of what got you across the line and how you can convey those key points in the future.
2. When you get promoted
Take the opportunity to celebrate, but don’t forget to update your resume, which should always include your current position.
Don’t just add another layer on your new job title though; explain why you earned the promotion (e.g., “promoted for outstanding performance to spearhead new client acquisitions”), and don’t be afraid to pull a "humble brag".
3. When you complete a big project
Did you close a major project? Wrap up development on a new procedure? These accomplishments need to be reflected on your resume.
Any time you finish a successful project, make sure it goes directly onto your resume.
If there are two resumes side by side, both 'say' what they can do, but one can demonstrate and 'show' you what they can do - who would you choose?
Showcasing quantifiable results and providing examples of this is crucial (e.g., “implemented new system that saved the company $5,000 in quarterly operating costs”).
Using a hidden page, expand on your key achievements. Include such details as how many people worked on the team, what your role entailed and the hurdles you crossed and use these as speaking points when you get to the interview stage.
4. When you acquire new skills
Whether it’s an accreditation, certification or new proficiency (e.g., learning a second language, or maybe a cheeky MBA), skills strengthen your resume, so keep yours current. Industry-specific credentials can also serve as keywords to help your resume pass through application tracking systems.
While exhaustive lists 'look' impressive (to the author), do a quarterly assessment of your resume and remove any outdated skills. Look at job postings in your field to determine what skills are in demand and learn to speak to these.
Refining Your Resume
But why these points? It keeps the value that you convey and have achieved front of mind.
Rather than completely overwhelming your audience with 100 tasks you have completed, its best to stick with your 3-5 key achievements in the role (and for extra points, be able to demonstrate these too).
If you're not sure how to update a resume the right way, or if it's been a while since you last gave yours a glance, you might not be sure of what to include and what to leave off.
Maybe you can use some help with that?
Contact the team for a free resume evaluation from iwantthatjob today.
For a quick and easy way to bring your resume up to speed so that you always have something ready to go, or a coaching program teaching you to standout and impressing a hiring manager, contact the team today!
What does your resume say about you?
How to make your application stand out from the start?
The average corporate job vacancy receives about 250 applications. Let that resonate.
When you see an opportunity that appears interesting and you make the decision to take the leap, there are another 200-odd people that have done the same thing. So what can we do to help in these situations?
Your application is about how you wedge the door open on your next role, or dream job. Our approach is about standing out from the crowd, the purple cow as some may say.
The first thing that you should do, is have a resume prepared. The average resume (from scratch) can take about 2-3 hours to create, and no doubt another hour to proof read. If your really crafty, you can spend up to 8 hours on this. Making sure that you have invested the time do defining what you are aiming to communicate is worth its weight in gold, otherwise you are leaving a lot of room for other players to come in and make themselves standout.
For those that may struggle, we have Resume & Structure templates available, as well as guiding frameworks of how to call out your skill set.
Now you're thinking to yourself - but we haven't actually made me stand out yet! No, not yet, we need to understand what we are working with first! Your should look at the long tail of your career journey, this is but the first step. Don't worry though, now the action comes.
Make your resume stand out
Once you have all the pieces of the puzzle together, comes down to how you can communicate your point of difference to the other applicants that is ultimately what will give you the green light. But again, take a step back. What you want to do is get your resume noticed.
Through the many years of being the hiring manager and decision maker, I've seen a ton of resumes - this isn't something that I'm overstating, and the number is in the thousands. I remember one role I was filling had 750 applicants... in the first week! I remember thinking to myself, thats nuts. Not only how do we give a fair chance to the applicants but how does someone vet these and extract the crucial infomation needed to make the decision?
Long story short, I went with the resume that stood out, and got to the point.
So, without going into all the details, what I'll leave you with is the 2 keys points to consider of colour, and clarity.
Colour - in a sea of black & white pages, standout with some colour. Colour grabs the attention, and this is the primary role of the Resume - to capture attention!
Clarity - getting to the point is crucial. What are the 3 things that make you relevant for this role, and how are you going to use your skills to make this company more money (lets face it, thats usually the primary objective).
Remember, the resume is the first but most critical step of the job path. Getting this right will exponentially help you on your way to getting the career that you desire.
If you need help in the review of, or building a resume, or further skills on how to wedge the door open, feel free to contact the team at I WANT THAT JOB via email or the form below.
What really happens in the real world - through the eyes of a hiring manager
Through the entire hiring process, it goes without saying, the most important perspective of perspective is that of the Hiring Manager.
Now, this isnt to discount the gatekeepers - the HR department, the Recruiters, they all have a vital part to play in the process, but the main goal is to win over the hiring manager.
The #1 thing I have learnt from years in management and consulting, and if nothing else sticks - remember this,
How do I make this person look good?
No matter the senority of the position, whether you are applying to be a COO of a multinational, a Retail Regional Manager, or its your first time entering the workforce, the resonating point is the self-interest of the person sitting in the other seat, and why not, they take the punt on you.
They are blamed if it doesnt turn out well, and they are celebrated if it does. This is THE key consideration you have to ponder to yourself. So when you are looking through your resume, or utilising one of our services, answer the question:
How will I make this manager look good, right from the start?
Being the person sitting over the other side of the desk for such a long time, the main thing that I want to know is how your background & experience is relevant to the problem that I'm looking to solve. This is the key component that you should practice articulating, and like any role, the more senority, the bigger the problems.
Doing some research on the company and the role can do wonders for your understanding of what you will be asked to perform. All you have to do is tie these actions back to relevant experience. If you dont have the experience, be upfront about it, but show your willingness to learn. "I dont have direct experience performing this task, but I have experience in both the performance and management of a like task which I believe the execution is quite transferrable, I will just have to align myself with the preferred process".
Some people may be scared off the prospect of admitting they dont have the direct experience, but if you are open with the interviewer and provide a near-solution, it shows that you are willing to learn their process (and plus, an outside view never hurts!).
The key with making someone look good, is highlighting what you are capable of doing really well for them in this role (playing to your strengths), and what you would like to include in your development plan (weaknesses & opportunities).
In my most successful interviews, I've gone in with a plan. The challenge with being interviewed is that you have no control over the questions, and so depending on the role (for all manager positions, this is a MUST) you should invest a few hours in a printed presentation that outlines;
You, your background, & your philosophy
Your understanding of the business and how you will fit in
Your approach (generally a 90-day plan)
Potential development/ experience plan to assist your learning
Though most interviews will have guided questions, having this document can allow you to cut through alot of the noise and jump into the meat and potatoes of what you will have to do. This document showcases your presentation & articulation skills, research & awareness, problem solving & execution skills. Want to stand out? Who else will go to this level...
P.s., these documents are also what we cover in our fuller coaching plan - giving you the tools & showing you how to use 'em!
Do you use a Cover Letter?
At the end of the day, a Cover Letter is a document that needs to S-U-M-M-A-R-I-S-E you and your intensions as part of the application process.
Your cover letter should not be a repeat of your resume, but one that briefly explains your experience and how you are suited to the role being applied for.
So let's look at this concept we call a Cover Letter, plus a few key points to align to.
To use, or not to use.... that is the question!
Each recruiter, and company is different - so in this case its better to have it and not need it that to need it and not have it. Does'nt need to be more complicated than that. If a hiring manager has to read 3 paragraphs rather than 8 pages - then will!
Get in, get out
A well-written Cover Letter can help you make a great impression, but its important to keep it brief and get straight to the point. You want this to be an application that the recruiter takes to the appropriate people, and they can clearly convey the value, and what separates you from the heard. Be upfront and explain what your skills and experience are and why you’re the right fit for the job right away such as “With a background in managing and guiding the consistent performance, and creating a culture of succession, I am confident that I could excel in the role of Regional Manager.”
Using a Cover Letter is a great opportunity to briefly inform the reader:
which role you’re applying for, and,
why you’re interested in it.
Your resume should then be able to provide the detail and background experience demonstrating why you’re a good fit for the role.
Dont just repeat your resume! This document should compliment the relevant points in your resume, rather than repeat them. You want to give the reader a sense of who you are, your skills and what you can offer. So, after your intro, focus on a touch more on yourself. Aspects such as why you’re interested in applying for it, and any relevant understanding you have about the position and the company can go a long way. (PS one of the largest considerations of any hiring manager is who you will fit in with the culture, so including this point can really help your cause).
Know (find out) who you’re talking to
If an ad says who the information is going to, then use your Cover Letter to address it that person. We would even reccomend you showcase a little of further effort by connecting with them on LinkedIn, or phoning them to introduce yourself prior to your application.
In our Coaching Program, we teach you how to appropriately approach these people and understand what questions to ask in line with your industry that will help your application stand out.
Sometimes, it might be unclear who the recruiter or hiring manger is. You could try ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ or try addressing it to the relevant department.
Some places will tell you that you should lead in with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ or ‘To whom it may concern’. While "appropriate, traditional options", at the end of the day you are wanting to stand out. If you are going to make somebody ready something, make it relevant, make it personal. What im trying to say is - dont give up when Google can't tell you - pick up the phone, call reception/office, reference the role, and ask to speak to (or be pointed to) the appropriate person.
A successful Cover Letter
By following these points, you’ll be on the right track to crafting the detail that makes for a successful Cover Letter, making a great impression to employers and compliments your resume to highlight the skills and experience you can offer.