Putting your best resume forward

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

The new year is a time for fresh starts and it is also the perfect time to freshen up your résumé. Whether you are currently looking for work or not, keeping it up to date can help make sure you are ready for whatever the new year brings.

"It is critical that your résumé is screaming with energy, excitement and enthusiasm," said Josie Martinez, senior director of Talent Acquisition at Banner Health.

She said the best way to show that enthusiasm is to toot your own horn.

"It's critical that each bullet point really showcases the situation, the actions that you took, any types of results you gained," Martinez said.

Martinez said don't just repeat key words from the job ad. Instead, show off how you fit the job.

"Using the space in those bullet points to articulate the examples of how you executed that, and showing the results associated with it, that helps deliver the message, that helps drive home what type of candidate, what caliber of candidate you are," she said.

Jerry Claudio at Maricopa Workforce Connection said this is your sales brochure so sell yourself.

"Something that shows success and something that relates your skills and traits directly to the job you are trying to get," he said.

Also, your résumé should be clean and easy to read.

"It is better to use bullet points because paragraphs are too wordy," Claudio said.

Remember, your résumé needs to stand out immediately.

"We call it the 10-second scan because on average when there is a stack of résumés, they only spend about 10 seconds looking at each résumé," Claudio said.

He said remember, it doesn't have to say everything, just enough to get you in the door.

"People think a résumé is to get you a job, no, the résumé is to get you the interview," he said.

Martinez warns you want to avoid things that make you stand out in a bad way.

"Sometimes people send us personal résumés that are on colored paper, sometimes people include photos of themselves," Martinez said.

She said to stick with clean white paper and don't mention religious or political affiliations. Also, only mention hobbies if they provide relevant experience.

"So my recommendation is to keep that résumé and application completely professional," she said.

And finally, Claudio said you won't need just one résumé, you will need one for every job you apply for.

"The days of doing a general résumé are over," he said. "Each résumé has to be targeted to the company or job you are trying to get. So does that mean you are going to have more than one résumé? Yes, you might have 10 or 20 résumés."

Both Martinez and Claudio also say to focus your search. Don’t just blast out résumés. That makes it harder for recruiters to know where your true passion and skills lie.