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Resume Updates That Will Help You Stand Out

New Year, New You, New Resume

Jan 06, 2021 |

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Ah, the New Year, full of promise and new beginnings. If landing a new job is part of your vision for the New Year—whether in the landscape industry or somewhere else—the best way to position yourself for success is with a resume refresh. If the thought of working on your resume fills you with dread, fear not. We’ve compiled a list of tips that will make the process as painless as possible. 

Tip 1: Make the Introduction

Tips for Resume Updates
Keeping your resume fresh and updated is your first step to landing a job.

You wouldn’t walk into an interview without introducing yourself. The same should be true of your resume. Instead of jumping right into the details of your current or most recent role, make the introduction with an objective statement or resume profile. 

An objective statement is a short, punchy description of your strengths and aspirations. It’s especially useful if you’re switching careers, as it provides an opportunity to highlight relevant, transferable experience upfront. Objective statements are also a good place to clarify if you’re planning to relocate and searching for jobs in a locale different from your current address. 

Objective statements needn’t be longer than a few sentences and even a single, concise sentence is fine. It should tell the reader who you are and what you’re looking for. For example:

“Knowledgeable landscape professional with 5-years industry experience looking to deliver exceptional customer care, operational efficiency, and high-quality service in a branch management position in the Northern California region.”

On the other hand, you may decide a resume profile is a better fit. Resume profiles summarize the qualifications contained in your resume and make clear the value you can offer. Consider it your elevator pitch. Like the objective statement, a resume profile can be 1-3 sentences. For example: 

“Detail-oriented crew leader with 3-years experience leading a 5-person team. Passionate about maintaining a safe working environment and achieving the highest client satisfaction.” 

Tip 2: Find the Key(words)

Next up, it’s time to incorporate keywords for important skillsets, credentials, or job requirements you’ve seen in job listings for your target position. Many companies employ recruiting management software that scans incoming resumes for keywords deemed important to that position. Adding in those keywords can help your resume sail through that initial screening, and into the hands of a recruiter. 

This is one of the big reasons why you should customize your resume for every job you apply for. It doesn’t have to be a big undertaking. Simply swapping out keywords and adjusting your objective statement or resume profile as needed can have a big impact. 

Tip 3: Show the Results

If ever there were a time to brag, this is it. Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to see at a glance the results you’ve achieved. Wherever possible, include supporting facts that illustrate your impact, such as numbers and percentages. And don’t forget to include promotions, awards, or continued education you’ve received since your last update. 

It can be a tough mental shift when the default inclination is to impartially list your job responsibilities. Remember, what the recruiter really wants to see is evidence of your success. 

Tip 4: Spring into Action 

Scan over the verbs in your resume. Do they feel tired or overused?  Swapping them out for more compelling verbs not only makes your resume more interesting to read, it also better conveys the value you can bring. For example, would you rather read about someone who was “responsible for Northern California sales’ or someone who “grew Northern California sales by a record 40%”?

Led, handled, and managed are all verbs guilty of resume overuse. Swap them for more dynamic terms like sustained, maximized, generated, developed, and cultivated, or break out a thesaurus for more ideas. The possibilities are endless. 

Tip 5: Know When to Delete

It’s great to include your college internships on your resume… if you’re a recent grad. But if graduation day was more than 10 years ago, it might be time to remove that internship from your resume. The same goes for work experience with an end-date that exceeds the decade mark. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, if you have 20 years’ experience, but only worked at two different companies, then it may make sense to keep both jobs on your resume. 

Tip 6: Don’t Forget the Design

After sprucing up the content of your resume, don’t forget to give the design some love, too. You might experiment with font and layout to find a combination that is uniquely you. Just don’t go overboard. If you want to add a relevant industry icon, that’s great, but leave the clipart and cloud backgrounds for another use.

Tip 7: Proof Positive

Did you really mean to say you “took the leaf?” Or was that bullet on your resume supposed to say you “took the lead?” It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to give your resume a good proof before calling it final. See if you can enlist a family member or friend to proof it, too. While it’s tempting to rush the process, don’t. Give it the time it deserves. In fact, sometimes it’s beneficial to step away from the document and proof it later that day, or the following day, when you’ll have a fresh set of eyes. 

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a resume that helps you put your best foot forward. When you’re ready for your new resume to make its debut, check out our list of current openings. You might just find a new position that checks all the boxes for your New Year aspirations.

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