We’re almost at the end of another year, which means that it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on our achievements and set goals for the year ahead. If, like many people, you’re hoping to enhance your job prospects in 2019, then strengthening your resume should be at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list.
Perhaps you’re looking to increase your salary, or maybe find more fulfilling work. Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, your resume will be your number-one tool for getting ahead of the competition. Here’s the catch–making your resume stronger requires you to do more than just tweaking a piece of paper. You need to be prepared to take actions that allow you to have a strong resume.
Here are three strategies to future-proof your resume for 2019 and beyond.
Take on extra responsibilities
You’ve probably heard this Henry Ford quote before, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Motivational speakers often use it, but it’s also a fitting way to describe your career.
If you don’t take on responsibilities above and beyond your current job, then how can you expect to be considered for more senior roles? If you want a promotion into that next-step role in your career, then you need to show employers and recruiters that you are capable of performing them. Chances are, most hiring managers won’t take a chance on inexperienced staff if they can hire experienced candidates.
So, if you’re hoping to progress in 2019, reach out to your supervisor and ask if you can alleviate them from some of their responsibilities. You won’t be rewarded instantly for your actions, but familiarizing yourself with the workload of your superiors will have massive long-term benefits for your career. Eventually, your boss will welcome your contribution, and you’ll learn new skills and pick up invaluable experience that you won’t get from just covering the basics in your role.
Once you’ve gained a wealth of skills from stepping up and taking on more senior duties, be sure to highlight them in your resume and show recruiters that you’re ready for career progression. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone when doing this. Challenge yourself and try to acquire some skills outside of the areas you already excel in.
Stay ahead of the tech curve
Technology isn’t just for those who work in Silicon Valley. Nowadays, it plays a huge role in almost every industry and profession. It’s highly likely that you come into contact with technological tools in your work.
Most of us use multiple technology platforms, from operating systems to databases. Some of us are even involved in the building and selling of these platforms. Whatever your involvement is with tech in the workplace, you can’t afford to get left behind. The tech landscape is continually changing, and if you don’t have an understanding of current tools and systems in your field, you’ll become a much less attractive hire than those who do.
To keep your tech skills sharp and stay in-demand, you need to be proactive in seeking out the latest technology in your field, and ensure that your knowledge is up-to-date. LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to find industry conversations and learn about emerging platforms in your industry. If you learn about a new technology that is disrupting your industry, look for online courses on them, or speak to your supervisor about trying them out in your office.
When you do this, you can list a much greater breadth and depth of technical knowledge on your resume. You’ll become a much more attractive candidate to future employers.
Drive some tangible results
Hiring staff is a significant investment for employers, and, like any investment, they will eventually want to see a decent return. Naturally, hiring managers like to hire candidates who have delivered real results for previous employers.
If you want to showcase some impressive achievements on your resume in 2019, you need to start working toward them ASAP. Say you’re working on a big project, strive to make notable contributions that can be directly related to saving costs, improving performance, or any other metric that adds real value. If you see a process in your workplace that doesn’t function as smoothly as it should, take action and implement some changes to that process so that it enhances productivity.
By achieving these results, you’ll have concrete evidence that proves your value to recruiters and hiring managers. When you can present facts and figures, you can illustrate the scale of your impact, and give them an accurate reflection of the benefits you could potentially bring to their team.
Making professional progress requires you take the initiative to go above and beyond what you are hired to do. By actively boosting your skills, taking extra responsibilities, and staying on top of technological trends, you can make 2019 your year.
Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of resume advice center StandOut CV. He is also the author of “How To Write a CV” and regularly contributes careers advice to a number of leading publications.