A New Resume for the New Year

January is one of the best times of year to find a new job. Hiring managers are looking to fill open positions and now have the budgets they need to do so. With the spirit of the New Year, these individuals are also seeking to facilitate change in the office.

Many job seekers too are looking for change in the form of a new job. Whatever the reason – more money, greater flexibility, a new boss or an increase in responsibility – getting a new job ranks as a common New Year’s resolution. With so many positions opening up and candidates applying for them, a job-winning resume is crucial to getting the hiring manager’s attention.resume_newyears_sirichai_freedigitalphotos-net

Top Three Tips for Getting Your Resume Writing Noticed in the New Year

Clean Formatting – Human resources professionals and hiring managers are scanning through hundreds, yes hundreds, of resumes and cover letters sorting the wheat from the chaff. They are looking for a quick way to discard applicants, and poor resume formatting is often the easiest option.

Is your resume formatting sloppy with misaligned text and tables, letter fonts and sizes that are all over the place, spacing that is way too much or way too little? Does your resume writing use 8-point font and extend to the margins?  Resumes such as these that are hard to read are often the first to be discarded.

Does Your Resume Opening Grab the Reader? The first few lines of your resume should capture the reader’s attention. Here, you need to both clearly state the purpose of the resume and what you bring to the table. Much like an advertisement, this space is first and foremost where you must sell yourself. The remainder of your resume writing supports the claim you make here.

You are not alone if you find this hard to do. It is difficult to sum up your career history and all you’ve accomplished in one or two lines. Yet this is what job-winning resumes do, and this is what will best get the attention of time-strapped hiring managers.

Proper Use of Resume Keywords – In today’s digital age, the first person to read your resume may not be a person at all but an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These computer systems scan resume keywords, and those without the right ones are likely to be discarded into a digital wasteland.

Now we could draft an entire article on using the right resume keywords and getting past these scanners. For simplicity’s sake you should include a keyword or “area of expertise” section in the resume writing that lists these words or phrases. Top keywords should also be placed contextually throughout the resume.

Whether you are an active or passive job seeker, January is an ideal time to update your resume and put yourself in the market. Finding a new job is rarely easy but statistically, the start of the year bodes well for most job seekers.

Need a New Resume That Grabs the Hiring Manager’s Attention?

86 Keys Communications creates results-getting resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and related resume writing services for job seekers of every industry and experience level. Contact them today at info@86keys.com.

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Brush off Your Resume for the Holiday Job Search

The holidays are a busy time of year for many people. From buying presents for the kids to picking up the Christmas tree and attending festivities, the holidays can be both joyous and stressful. Some people take off work to spend more time with family while others take on seasonal jobs for extra cash. Many holiday job seekers overwhelmed by seasonal activities intentionally or unintentionally put off their job hunt until the New Year despite the risks of doing so.

Do Hiring and Resume Reviews Slow in December? Yes and No

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Courtesy of Ambro, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Despite the hustle and bustle of the season, hiring activity does still continue though it might move at a slower pace. This is mostly due to human resources professionals and management taking some R&R. Some companies’ annual hiring budgets may also be depleted by year’s end. After all, money for the holiday party must come from somewhere.

Don’t Put the Brakes on Your Holiday Job Search Quite Yet

For other larger corporations, hiring is a year-round process even during the holidays. From in-demand positions to more ordinary roles, jobs are filled on a cyclical basis no matter what. At these sizable firms, job openings are prevalent every day of the year. Though some companies might have a smaller hiring budget during December due to holiday activities, others have a larger one that must be used by year’s end. For these big corporations, they must source and secure candidates right up to and including the holidays.

Want Your Resume Reviewed? Submit It During the Holidays

Though hiring may slow down during the end of December, your holiday job search need not stop completely. Some people take vacation but others continue to perform their job responsibilities in less full offices with less work to do. For these people, they may have more time available to prepare for the new calendar year, which might mean studying job openings and conducting resume reviews.

In fact, the holidays might be the best way to capture the attention of human resources and hiring managers. With less routine work to do and more time to do it, resumes and cover letters might get more attention. In addition, with less applicants submitting resumes during the holidays, as is often the case, the chances of your job-winning resume getting noticed increase considerably.

Share Some Eggnog and Network at Holiday Parties

Holiday festivities and parties have been mentioned at least a few times in this post, and that’s no accident. Don’t overlook old-fashion face-to-face conversation and small talk as an opportunity to network. Whether it is a holiday office party, cookie exchange, school activity or family gathering, the opportunities for networking abound. Though holiday job seekers might not want to walk around with their job-winning resume in hand, there are many ways less obvious ways to chat about how they are keeping their eyes open for a new job.

So use this holiday season to relax and recuperate, but don’t make the common mistake of skipping your holiday job search. After all, this might be the best time of year to network and get your job-winning resume noticed by the right people.

86 Keys Communications creates results-getting resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and related resume writing services for job seekers of every industry and experience level. Contact them today at info@86keys.com.