12 steps to a better resume in 2017

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12 steps to a better resume in 2017
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Ready to look for a new job in the new year? If it’s been a minute since you’ve updated your resume, you’re stepping into a brave new world of job hunting.

For starters, you’ve got the advent of the online resume and the continued importance of applicant tracking systems that will kick your resume out of the system if it doesn’t meet certain basic requirements.

On top of that, some features of a resume that may have been common a generation ago are now going the way of the dodo.

It’s easy to feel like the whole axis of the job seeking world has shifted, and it has in reality. But it’s never too late to catch up on the latest developments. Follow this advice from Time.com to update your resume today!

Read more: Why getting a promotion isn’t always a good thing

1. Hyperlink whatever you can

That includes your email address, LinkedIn profile and any other social media links you want recruiters to see. That way you’re just one click away if they’re interested.

2. Use color to your advantage

A strategic splash of color — such as making section headers blue while leaving other text in black — can make you stand out from the pack. The more creative your industry, the more you should feel free to visually jazz up your resume!

3. Summaries are the new object statement

Forget about the antiquated thing where you say, ‘I’m so and so seeking a full-time position in such and such an industry.’ Instead, write a pithy professional mission statement that encapsulates who you are, what your experience is and what you’ve accomplished. Keep it to a few blurbs. This will give hiring managers a quick overview of you as a candidate.

4. Use bolded text strategically

People don’t read like they used to. Don’t let your resume be a wall of undistinguished text that makes someone’s eyes glaze over. Punctuate your prose with bolded phrases to draw eyes to your jobs titles, accomplishments, education or anything else you want to highlight.

5. Keywords, keywords, keywords

If real estate is all about ‘location, location, location,’ then resume writing is all about keywords. Only the right keywords will make sure you get through the automated applicant filtering systems that HR departments use to weed out candidates. In practice, this means making sure you mirror the language of the job posting in your resume.

6. Skip the skills section and mesh it in with your work experience

Unless you’re an IT specialist, you probably don’t need a dedicated section spelling out your specific skill sets. Rather, try weaving it into your work experience. Employers want to know how you’ve used the skills you have; they don’t need to see a laundry list of basics like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office, etc.

7. Use space-saving features

Bullet points, active verbs and common industry acronyms can all conserve space. That said, don’t be afraid to run two pages long if you have a lot of experience. But if you’re coming straight out of school, you’d be wise to keep it to one page.

8. Go with chronological format

According to a survey from the staffing service Accountemps, three out of four bosses prefer a chronological resume with the most recent work history first.

9. Be sure to include your volunteer experience

Want a leg up on the competition? Then you’ve got to list your volunteer experience. The Deloitte Impact Survey found 82% of those who influence hiring decisions said they are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience — but only one in three resumes in the United States cite volunteer work.

Steps to a better resume

Don’t do this…

1. Include your street address, according to Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired. That just opens you up to identity theft. Simply putting your city, state and zip code will suffice.

2. Use Times New Roman. It’s outdated and looks fuddy-duddy. Opt instead for standard modern fonts like Cambria, Calibri or Georgia, Enelow says.

3. Ignore traditional networking. Sometimes a great resume will only get job hunters so far. That’s why Clark says networking is still the key to landing that desirable job.

Read more: Networking remains the key to getting a job offer

Success story: From Hooters girl to company president

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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