By Kathy Spearing | August 7, 2020

Many professionals have found themselves out of work amidst the ongoing COVID crisis of 2020. The latest unemployment numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported positive news—that the unemployment rate is the lowest since the start of the pandemic, but remained at historically high levels for the 20th straight week.

While being furloughed or laid off can be disheartening, at Brilliant, we know that businesses are still hiring, especially for accounting, finance and technology professionals. Roles that once we thought could never be performed remotely are now able to, thanks to the onslaught of technological advancements such as the cloud and automation tools.

So, if you’ve found yourself back to looking for a new project or position, try not to fret. Now is a great time to update your resume and kick that job search into high gear.

Resumes are the first snapshot into your experience that hiring managers, recruiters or human resources professionals get. Be sure you are aligned with today’s best practices, especially if it’s been a while since you revised it last.

I thought it was an excellent time to go over some tips for good resume writing. Check out the 5 Steps to Resume Success below.

  1. Include contract opportunities
    This is an important one that often gets overlooked. Be sure to include any and all temporary, interim or consulting positions that you’ve had on your resume—employers will be interested in job seekers who have kept their skills sharp in between permanent roles. If you worked with a staffing firm, be sure to list both the name of the agency and the name of the company you contracted with during your assignment.
  1. Ditch the buzz words
    The corporate world has developed its own “speak,” but for resume-purposes, leave off any buzzwords that are not relevant to your experience. Further, do not refer to phrases on your resume using “in-house” jargon only used within your past companies. Be sure to use language that anyone can understand with regards to software, technologies and processes. Using words that are only known within one organization will not resonate with other professionals.
  1. Be relevant
    It’s best to include experience from only the past ten years on your resume—that is likely the most relevant—but use your best judgment. Including information from anything farther back might not add much value. On the same note, be sure to exclude dates on education and certifications that are older than 15 years. You want to be sure that you do not give any information that could lead to age discrimination or other types of bias.
  1. Mirror your LinkedIn profile
    Nowadays, your LinkedIn profile is just as important as your resume. Many recruiters, HR professionals, or other hiring managers use LinkedIn to find candidates for their open roles. It’s good practice to update your LinkedIn profile with any changes you make to your resume. This includes adding new skills, certifications, accomplishments, awards or new projects.
  1. Proofread…and then proofread again
    Last but not least, proofread your resume. Often, this is the most overlooked step that job seekers make. Read your resume at least three times for accuracy and to assure that the language is concise and professional. Be sure your verb tense is correct. Correct any formatting issues. Also, have at least one other person read through your resume. You don’t want to let a small typo or misspelling cost you a new position.

Good luck!

For a complete guide to updating your resume, download Brilliant’s Resume Writing 101 INFOGRAPHIC.

Have any resume writing tips of your own to add? Comment below and let us know!

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