Companies with new budgets and new demands for products and services start posting new openings in the first quarter of the new year (and some companies have already begun).
Is your executive resume prepared for a 2017 job search?
Let’s state the obvious: you should update your resume, and be “resume ready” at all times, even if you’re not actively seeking a new position. You don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity that may come your way when you least expect it.
If you are sending your executive resume to recruiters [be sure to check out this list of resume preferences by recruiters], did you know that they typically spend…
- an average of 6.25 seconds (it used to be 10 seconds!) looking at a candidate’s resume before deciding whether he or she is a good fit for the position.
- 80% of that six seconds looking at these five things: name, current title, and company; previous title and company; start and end dates for current and past positions, and education.
- 20% of that scan time looking for keywords that matched the open position.
That’s a lot to absorb in just 6.25 seconds!
So if your resume isn’t in an updated format, with clear concise content, you may not grab that recruiter’s attention.
Here are 5 resume tips to make sure you’re ready for 2017:
- Take an audit of your past year’s performance. What success have you achieved in your career throughout the past 12 months? A lot can happen in one short year. By reviewing your past year’s performance, you not only prepare for a resume update, you also have documentation for your annual review that could result in a salary raise, bonus, or promotion. Have you added your most recent accomplishments, certifications, and newly developed skills to your resume?
- Decide what should stay in the resume and what should go. Not sure what to get rid of in your resume? Start with the back-end of your resume first. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know who you are and what you can do today. They rarely want to look further back in a career history more than 15 years, unless those older positions are extremely relevant to the job they are currently hiring for. Make sure your resume focuses on your most current experience and achievements and excludes positions that are irrelevant to your current job focus.
- Include metrics. Any actions that were taken by you, good or bad, have a result to the company. No executive position is exempt from measuring those results. These metrics help employers determine if a person is capable of leading a team, managing clients, or growing the business. Do you show quantifiable achievements in your resume? Quantifiable achievements tend to focus on revenue, efficiencies, goals achieved, etc.
- Check your keywords. Posted job openings and job descriptions contain significant keywords that recruiters search for. Computer programs are set up to search resumes for pertinent keywords as well. Identify which are most important for your industry and position. Have you reviewed your resume to make sure it contains some of those appropriate keywords? For example, sales resume keywords would include sales pipeline development, revenues/sales growth, per-account sales volumes, and sales contract extensions. Keywords for a marketing resume would include product development, multimedia marketing, market research, and direct mail marketing.
- Update your contact information. Make it easy for the reader to contact you. While that may seem like an obvious statement, executives change email addresses or phone numbers throughout the year and don’t always update that very important information on their resume. Did you know that it’s sufficient to have just one phone number listed? The best choice is your mobile phone that only you answer. Does your resume include your LinkedIn URL? It should!
Use these resume tips (especially #3!!!) to make your resume the best it can be. Don’t let 2017 slip away without putting your best foot forward.
It will prove to be extremely valuable to update your resume now so you can be a step ahead of your competition in the new year.