5 Ways to Update Your Resume While Social Distancing

In these challenging times of social distancing, layoffs and business closures, many of you are thinking about updating your resume. It’s a task that can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t made any changes to your resume in several years.

Here are five tips that can help make your resume stand out when applying for your next job:

1. Add a Profile Section – Replace an outdated objective statement with an attention-grabbing profile section. Objective statements are considered obsolete now. Instead, consider a profile section that provides readers with a quick summary of what you can bring to an organization. Balance Careers provides a useful article about profiles, which includes a link to several samples.

Resume updates

2. Use Numbers to Showcase Your Skills – Numbers jump off the page. They provide a more complete picture of your accomplishments. I once saw on a student’s resume that she created the weekly schedule for employees at the restaurant where she worked. I pictured a schedule for about 10 employees. Upon further questioning, I learned that there were two different restaurant locations and that she actually coordinated the schedules of about 50 employees! Her responsibility was obviously much greater than I had imagined.

3. You’re More Than Your Job – Think beyond your work history for valuable experience to add to your resume. For example, have you done volunteer work that should be included? Employers love to consider well-rounded applicants who are highly involved in their community. If the volunteer activities are related to the type of work you hope to do in your next job, you may even consider bulleting out a list of duties, just as you would for a previous job.

4. You’ve Got More Skills Than You Think – Focus on transferable skills when describing your experience. Many people list the duties they performed most frequently at their jobs. Instead, think about the skills that will be needed in your next job, and list the skills from your previous jobs that will transfer. Instead of listing “waited on tables” for your server job (we all know you did that), indicate that you “resolved customer concerns in an effective manner that led to repeat business.” That skill will be valuable in many future jobs!

5. New Skills, New Job – Consider learning new skills to add to your resume. If you’re unsure of the skills needed for the positions you’re interested in, research those jobs using O*Net OnLine at www.onetonline.org. Perhaps taking an online course would help you learn the skills you need. You may even be surprised at how many new skills you can learn for free simply by watching YouTube videos on a given subject.

Following these tips will make updating that resume a little less daunting and will get your resume the attention it deserves from your next employer.

Career Services is here as a resource for not only our students, but also our alumni. Whether you graduated last week or many years ago, you can access our services for free. For more information contact Steve Hassinger the Career Services Director at Central Penn College.

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