. Include a career summary at the top of your résumé
You only have a matter of seconds — a minute if you’re lucky — to impress a human resource or hiring manager with your résumé. Don’t make them search for the important material. By including a career summary at the top, it will give managers an immediate snapshot of your skills and accomplishments.
2. Keep it up to date
No matter the state of the economy, you should always have a recent résumé and portfolio on hand. Fifty percent of the 8,038 employees surveyed by CareerBuilder.com said their résumés aren’t up to date.
Any time your responsibilities increase or you accomplish something significant, update your résumé with that information. You never know when you’ll need to produce a current résumé.
3. Incorporate keywords
Tracking systems are becoming increasingly popular to screen and weed out unqualified candidates. In fact, 51 percent of human resource managers report using them in the hiring process.
To avoid the discard pile, integrate keywords from the job posting into your résumé. Doing so will heighten your chances of showing up near the top of the employer’s ranking of the most relevant candidates.
4. Use a functional résumé
Almost every major industry is experiencing mass layoffs, with the exception of a couple. That being said, many job seekers are looking for work in new industries and professions where they might not have much experience.
Listing your experience by skill categories rather than chronologically shows employers the proficiencies you possess rather than those you lack.
5. Include all relevant experience
Whether you’re expanding your job search to a new industry or you’re a new college graduate, you might not have the necessary experience to land that job you want.
Make sure you’re including all pertinent experience on your résumé. Volunteer work, leadership roles or community involvement are all areas most employers consider to be relevant experience.
Now that you’ve incorporated these five tips into your résumé, the worst thing you can do is send a generic copy out to the masses while you sit on your couch and pray for a response.
Be proactive with your résumé and take advantage of the tools available to you. On job boards like CareerBuilder.com, for example, you can use resources like cbResume, cbResumeDirect and Resume Upgrade, all of which can increase your visibility to employers.
Additionally, you should utilize social networking sites to host your application materials, as well as target your résumé to the company where you’re applying.