If it’s been a while since you refreshed your resume, you might find the job search process a bit frustrating.

The reality is that most employers spend six seconds on a resume before deciding if there is a potential fit. How can you ensure yours will catch the eye of hiring managers? Simple. Highlight only the details employers want to know about.

Just in time for spring, our recruiting team is sharing five tips on how to spruce up your resume:

1. Polish it off

Think, “Less is more”. Your resume must sell you in seconds. Get to the point of what you did in each job by clearly conveying your accomplishments and responsibilities. Remove ambiguous phrases that do not provide value, for example instead of “Developed a web based application” try “Increased web traffic by 60% through a newly developed web feature within 6 months.”

Remember, you want employers to get a firm understanding of what you can bring to the table at a glance, without having them dig for the information.

2. Declutter

Avoid using paragraphs on your resume—use bullet points with phrases instead. If you include a summary statement, try placing it in the body of an e-mail or use it as part of your cover letter. The idea is to use space wisely and keep your resume clear and concise. Consider writing a 1 sentence headline instead of a summary paragraph.

3. Trim, trim, trim

Limit your resume to one or two pages maximum. For seasoned professionals, we know you have some ground to cover. However, a five page resume will make an employer think twice about reading it.

There is no need to document every position you’ve held since college. Trim or remove past positions that are not relevant to the opportunity at hand. Your resume should act as a marketing tool, and not as a personal account of your life.

4. Highlight your best assets

Focus on your recent experiences. You should have more bullet points under your recent experiences (within the last 5 years) as opposed to your past ones. It is also critical to tailor your experience to the role you are applying for, but remember to keep it honest. Look at the job description before you edit your resume—this will help you mirror the company’s terminology and verbiage. Does the job description mention they want someone with experience using a specific software? If you have experience with that software, highlight it within your resume.

5. Freshen up the space

Consistent font and proper spacing: we are talking formatting here.  No one wants to review an unorganized resume that will make your head spin. Choose classic business fonts – think Times New Roman or Arial. If you’re struggling with consistent formatting, use Google to access downloadable resume templates at no cost.

Most importantly, make sure to proofread your resume multiple times. A grammar or spelling mistake could cost you since it shows a lack of attention to detail. One tip is to ask family or friends to proofread as they might catch overlooked errors.

It’s a candidate market out there, but the competition is still high. Having an up-to-date, well-formatted resume that paints a clear picture of your capabilities should increase your chances of being considered for an opportunity. At the least, it will set you up to better market yourself when the right season comes around.

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