If it has been a decade since you were last on the job market, much has changed in the application and interview process. In fact, you might be surprised that most of these changes have occurred over the past three years.
In addition to navigating the traditional application waters, you’re also expected to know how companies have changed their hiring process. There will never be a replacement for professional referrals that get you past the TA gatekeepers. However, if you’re attempting to make a go in a new industry or city, your options to tap into your network could be limited. While you re-build or seek out connections, take proactive steps towards making your brand stand out.
In this series, we’ll talk about the different steps to jumpstart your job search if it has been more than a few years since you have interviewed.
Step One: Update Your Resume
This may feel like a no-brainer, but often, applicants choose to add to their existing (and outdated) resume. In lieu of quality, up-to-date information, they attempt to cram in as many details as possible, hoping that something might catch a recruiter’s eye. Instead, start from the beginning. Build a foundational resume that is modern, clean, easy-to-read, and no more than two pages.
If you are deep into your professional career, your educational background and degrees should take a backseat to your practical experience. It’s OK to accept that your college days are over and your time on the Dean’s list is not landing you a senior-level position. Likewise, cut the details on your internships or entry-level positions. A title, date, and company name will suffice.
Eliminate the summary. If someone is reading your resume, they don’t need a summary of your work experience prior to reading another summary of your work experience. Instead, replace it with your objective. What do you want to do? What is your goal? Where do you want to work?
Very recently, AI has made its way into the resume building and reviewing space. You can use AI to enhance your resume and build it for both human and AI algorithm consumption. More companies are using these algorithms to read, assess, and rank resumes. Your one-size-fits-all resume won’t cut it anymore. You need to build a resume with a strong foundation that can be curated for individual companies and positions.
Finally, give potential readers a way to get in touch with you. While you no longer need to include your home address, it’s relevant to provide them with a phone number, email address, or LinkedIn profile URL. Additionally, give people an idea of where you are in the world. Even if you are seeking to relocate or take a remote position, if you don’t include a general location, I can guarantee that an interviewer will either put your resume to the side or Google your phone number’s area code.
If you are looking for resume building resources to guide you, consider Microsoft’s Resume Template within Microsoft Word or an AI based resume & cover letter assistant like Grammarly.
Once your resume is optimized, it’s time to build your brand through LinkedIn and networking. The second part of our series will focus on brand building to increase visibility and give credibility to your experience.