How to Get Your Résumé Ready for the New Year


If your New Year’s Resolution includes finding a new job—a resolution that landed on a list of the most popular resolutions for 2021—now is the time to get your résumé in prime shape. While hiring was obviously impacted in many ways over the course of 2020, traditionally, hiring ramps big time once the calendar rolls over into January. If you are seeking a change for the year ahead, here are the three most important things you can do to get your résumé ready for your 2021 job search.

New Year, New Look

The New Year, for many, is often time for a bold change, and your résumé should be no exception. Start out by updating the look and feel of your résumé. Your goal should be to have a résumé that is easy to follow and one that instantly reflects who you are and what you can do. Some quick tips for giving your résumé a makeover include:

  • Start with an easy-to-follow, modern template that has clearly defined sections of information. Some great examples of résumés like these can be found here, here, and here.
  • Identify and use a tagline for yourself. You aren’t just a nurse or a doctor. “NICU RN-BSN, BLS and ACLS Certified” or “Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician” tucked beneath your name at the top of your résumé affords the reader insight into your qualifications before they even really begin to dig into your document.
  • Update your contact information to current standards. Listing your mailing address is less important these days than linking to your online social profiles. Include, at a minimum, a URL for your LinkedIn account, and any other professionally acceptable social accounts you may hold. Also, be sure to include your email address, but only if it’s one that can be taken seriously, and not something like GlitterSparkleButterfly@whatever.com.
  • Throw out the old objective section in favor of a short, professional summary, and stock it with your most impressive qualifications and accomplishments, which you should then expand upon in your experience and education sections.

Take Stock of 2020

Now that your résumé has a new look for the new year, the content will need updating, as well. With 2020 firmly in the rearview, take time to reflect on all that happened over the course of the year. What did you accomplish? What new skills did you learn? Did you gain any new certifications or degrees? Did you receive any special recognition? Did you take on any new responsibilities?

Also, and probably most importantly, take the time to reflect on what you truly want out of 2021 and beyond. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that time is precious. You should spend your time doing what you love, and your résumé should position you to find a job that fits into that—not just a job that you fit into.

Look back on where the previous year has taken you, and then update the appropriate sections of your résumé to reflect any worthwhile highlights. You will also want to trim the fat, so to speak, from previous years, if there is anything listed that is no longer relevant or has become less impressive over time.

Lastly, take note of keywords that are frequently used in the job postings you have been browsing and make sure you include as many of them as possible in the text of your résumé. Doing so will increase your odds of being labeled as a match for the jobs to which you plan to apply.

Get Online

If you are like the bulk of the population, you will likely be applying to jobs online in 2021, be it on our site or elsewhere, making the online version of your résumé just as important as the paper copy you will bring with you when you go in to interview for said jobs. Make sure you upload your updated résumé to our site and any others you may be using to browse for jobs, and also take the time to revamp your LinkedIn profile to match your reworked résumé, and update any other social accounts you plan to disclose to potential employers (or lock down the ones you don’t plan to share via privacy preferences).

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

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