Today we’re diving into a crucial topic – resume updates. So, let’s get started.
Your resume is your gateway to landing interviews. It doesn’t guarantee a job, but it gets your foot in the door. Over my 31 years in the business of writing executive resumes, I’ve seen resumes evolve significantly, especially in the last decade. They’ve transitioned from being bland, responsibility-based documents to performance-based ones.
Why the change? Well, it’s largely due to ATS, or Applicant Tracking Systems. ATS is a computer application that scans and sorts resumes based on specific criteria, including keywords, skills, and industry buzzwords. It’s become prevalent in recent years. In Canada, for example, most companies with 87 or more employees use ATS. So, it’s essential to be prepared. Don’t assume someone won’t read your resume with ATS. Even if you network your way in, it may end up in their system.
Now, you don’t need two separate resumes for ATS and non-ATS. That’s a waste of time and paper. Instead, create an ATS-friendly resume by incorporating your performance-driven stories using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format. It’s a format that’s gained popularity in the last few years.
First impressions matter. If your resume looks outdated, you’ll miss opportunities. I recently critiqued a resume that appeared to be from 2007-2008, and it failed to meet today’s standards. If your resume is more than three years old, consider updating and strengthening it. Your resume is your sales tool; make it compelling.
Now, a quick note on Blue Steps – I was part of their resume writing and coaching team a few years ago. Based on recent feedback, I don’t think it’s worth the investment. You can connect with executive recruiters through traditional means.