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Update your résumé

The job market can be competitive, as new graduates flood the field each and every year.

Many job seekers may benefit from revamping their résumés before beginning their search. It’s not uncommon for recruiters to receive thousands of résumés for each job opening they post, and the sheer volume of applicants can make it difficult for job seekers to get their résumés seen. In such instances, job seekers must take steps to tip the odds in their favor. By following these guidelines, job seekers may have a better chance of getting their résumés into the right hands.

Put a professional purpose

Modern standards may suggest that listing a career “objective” is old fashioned. However, it is helpful to customize your résumé so that it is geared toward the position for which you are applying. A career objective may reflect how you are a strong candidate for each specific job you apply for. Use some specifics that tie into to the particular job or company and you may catch the hiring manager’s attention in the process.

Embrace keywords 

Many employers now use application tracking software to sift through the scores of résumés that are submitted for each opening they post. Keywords make it easy for employers to sort through thousands of résumés. The right keywords will flag your résumé and increase your “relevancy score” in the main HR/recruiting software programs available. Adapt your résumé for each application you submit. Use some of the words listed in the initial job posting and description. In addition, look at similar job postings and incorporate some keywords listed in those ads so that you have all the bases covered.

Trim the fat 

Less is often more regarding résumés. List all of the pertinent information, then go over the résumé again and again and cut out any irrelevant information to remove clutter. Only include information that is relevant to your career goals.

 Highlight what you have done

Rather than listing every job responsibility and position in chronological order, use a résumé to highlight specific career accomplishments. This is a time to be your biggest fan and tell the world all of the great things you have accomplished. Remember to include evidence to back up the claims. According to a 2015 survey by CareerBuilder, employers say that résumés that include links to a candidate’s portfolio, website or blog garner more attention than résumés without such links.

 Put your own voice in the résumé

Rather than using standard verbiage on your résumé, personalize what you want to say. Hiring managers want to hire a human, not a machine. When speaking about yourself, be sure to use strong action words that define your skills even further. HR professionals cite terms like “managed,” “achieved” and “improved” as examples of positive, assertive words.

Updating a résumé with the goal of standing out among a crowded pool of applicants is a great way for job seekers to land a new job.

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