5 Things You Can Do Today to Boost Your Resume

  • Published on May 20


In today's competitive job market, having a standout resume is crucial to catching the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Whether you're actively job hunting or just want to be prepared for future opportunities, updating and optimizing your resume can significantly boost your chances of landing your dream job. Here are five actionable steps you can take today to enhance your resume.

1. Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

One of the most effective ways to make your resume stand out is to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for. Recruiters and applicant tracking systems (ATS) look for resumes that closely match the job description.

How to Do It:

  • Analyze the Job Description: Highlight the key skills, qualifications, and experiences mentioned.
  • Use Relevant Keywords: Incorporate these keywords naturally throughout your resume.
  • Customize Your Summary: Craft a summary statement that aligns with the job requirements and showcases your suitability for the role.

Example:

  • Instead of a generic summary, try: "Results-driven marketing professional with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing, specializing in SEO, content creation, and social media management. Proven track record in increasing online engagement and driving traffic growth."

2. Quantify Your Achievements

Numbers speak louder than words. Quantifying your achievements with specific metrics can make your resume more compelling and demonstrate your impact in previous roles.

How to Do It:

  • Identify Key Metrics: Think about how your work contributed to the company’s success. Did you increase sales, improve efficiency, or save costs?
  • Include Specific Numbers: Use percentages, dollar amounts, and other specific figures to highlight your achievements.

Example:

  • Instead of saying, "Improved social media engagement," say, "Increased social media engagement by 35% over six months, resulting in a 20% increase in website traffic."

3. Highlight Relevant Skills

Make sure your skills section is up-to-date and relevant to the jobs you're targeting. This not only helps you get through ATS but also makes it clear to recruiters that you have the capabilities needed for the role.

How to Do It:

  • List Technical and Soft Skills: Include a mix of both technical skills (e.g., software proficiency, data analysis) and soft skills (e.g., leadership, communication).
  • Prioritize Relevant Skills: Put the most relevant skills at the top of your list.

Example:

If you're applying for a project management role, prioritize skills like "Project Planning," "Risk Management," "Agile Methodologies," and "Team Leadership."

4. Update Your Formatting

A clean, professional layout makes your resume easier to read and more visually appealing. Simple formatting changes can make a big difference in how your resume is perceived.

How to Do It:

  • Use Clear Headings: Make sure each section (e.g., Experience, Education, Skills) is clearly labeled.
  • Choose a Professional Font: Stick to standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.
  • Use Bullet Points: Present your achievements and responsibilities in bullet points for better readability.

Example:

Experience

Marketing Manager, XYZ Company

January 2019 – Present

  • Developed and implemented digital marketing strategies, resulting in a 25% increase in online sales.
  • Led a team of 5 marketing specialists to achieve quarterly targets consistently.

5. Add a Strong Summary or Objective

Your resume's summary or objective is your elevator pitch – a brief, compelling overview of who you are and what you bring to the table. A strong summary can grab a recruiter’s attention and make them want to read more.

How to Do It:

  • Keep It Concise: Aim for 2-3 sentences that summarize your experience, skills, and career goals.
  • Focus on Your Value Proposition: Highlight what sets you apart and how you can add value to the company.

Example:

"Dynamic software engineer with 8 years of experience in full-stack development. Expertise in building scalable web applications and leading cross-functional teams. Passionate about leveraging technology to solve complex problems and drive business growth."

Keeping it real...

Updating your resume doesn't have to be a daunting task. By tailoring your resume to the job description, quantifying your achievements, highlighting relevant skills, refreshing your formatting, and adding a strong summary, you can create a compelling resume that stands out to recruiters and hiring managers. Take these steps today, and boost your chances of landing your next great opportunity.

Further Reading