Six easy ways to update your resume according to an expert

It’s a new year, and if you’ve got your sights set on a big career move, or better yet, landing your dream job in 2023, your resume needs to be up to snuff before you can take the first step to reach your goal

If updating your resume has been on your to-do list for a while, it’s time to take action so you can take that exciting next step in your career.

Penquin HR Coordinator Fundi Twala and HR Director Annemie Burger know a thing or two about what makes a CV stand out and recently shared their ideas to help you transform yours so easily as possible

1. Start with a real photo

In a world of filters and editing apps, many people create entirely new versions of themselves online.

“If you’re going to include a photo on your resume, the key is to make sure it looks like you, not a heavily doctored or retouched version. This is to ensure that no interviewer will have to look at your resume to make sure it really has the right person in the room,” the experts advised.

“A selfie is unlikely to look very professional, so ask someone to take a picture of you against a neutral background. It doesn’t have to be as formal as you would for an ID or passport photo. Be authentic and show off your beautiful smile for everyone to appreciate.”

2. Include the essentials

Every resume should have the essential information so that hiring teams have no questions to ask in order to establish whether you are suitable to interview for the role.

This includes contact information, work experience, your education (including qualifications or certifications), as well as your relevant skills.

Penquin experts advise starting with the most recent work experience and including dates, as HR teams tend to look at when you were working and how long you were with the company.

The more detailed you can be without writing an essay on each one, the better.

3. Good grammar and formatting are alive and well

If you’re not the best writer, don’t sweat it. Programs such as Microsoft Word and LibreOffice have built-in tools to check documents for grammatical and spelling errors.

Spend time on formatting your resume as well.

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According to experts, using a legible font with unified space between signs indicates polish and professionalism.

Please check everything before saving the document as a PDF and turning off your application. Not doing so is the easiest way to land your resume on the rejection pile.”

4. Long resumes are a no-no

It’s 2023 and nobody has time to go through a ten-page resume anymore.

Getting your resume length doesn’t mean you have to cut back on some of your experience. Just give as much detail as possible about your last two or three roles, which hiring teams are likely to focus on anyway.

“Overall, your resume should be punchy, written in short sentences. In the final reading, remove any adjectives that may sound a little arrogant, such as “exceptional.” [job title]or ‘world-class’ this or that, as your experience will speak for itself without having to overinflate you.”

5. Creativity sets you apart from the rest

HR teams review thousands of resumes each year.

Many applicants use a standard CV template that the candidate has found on Google. A little creativity when it comes to design will help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Regardless of the type of feature you’re requesting, try using a modern template with color (easy to do with a free tool like Canva). You’ll end up making an impression on the recipient, as well as injecting some fun into the hiring process.

6. Two essential summaries

The Pekin HR team believes in two summaries that will make any resume pack pack a punch.

The first is a brief summary of who you are. Be original about it – don’t forget what you think someone wants to hear. Instead, share what you’re really good at, as well as what you’re looking for in your next role and team.

Then add an executive summary on the same page, detailing your experiences and accomplishments.

A recruiter or hiring manager may have a tight deadline, primarily looking at this to decide if you’re fit to interview.

Write no more than three to five concise sentences for each of the two sections.

With everything you need to know to create the perfect resume, you’re ready to edit it. When companies go live this year, you’ll be able to choose the roles you want to apply for.

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Compiled by Kaunda Selisho

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