How to improve your resume to land a promotion: 3 tips

Resumes are an integral part of the hiring and application process. Here's how to make sure yours is in the best shape for top positions.

How to make your tech resume more appealing to hiring managers With the rise in social media hiring platforms, the traditional resume has changed. Here's what hiring managers are looking for.

One of the baseline requirements for a job application is the inclusion of a resume. Resumes showcase the candidate's experience, background, skills, and purpose—all in one, consolidated space, according to a Glassdoor blog post

Resumes are so important to the hiring process that people often stretch the truth to make themselves seem more attractive or marketable, fibbing about academic degrees, technical abilities, and more, a recent Blind report found. 

SEE: 14 tips for getting your resume through an applicant tracking system (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

However, lying on a resume is not only wrong, but one of the biggest mistakes a job candidate can make in the application process. Lying about yourself or your experiences is one of the easiest ways to not only get a bad reputation, but to be immediately cut from consideration at an organization. 

Candidates don't need to lie on their resumes to be appealing to hiring managers. Countless strategies exist to help make resumes not only ready for the hiring process, but ready for promotion within an organization. Resumes aren't reserved for new hires, but for professionals in all stages of their careers. 

Here are three ways professionals can improve their resumes to get the promotion they want:

1. Use purposeful language 

Using the correct wording is crucial on a resume, according to Michael Solomon, founder of salary negotiation advisory firm 10x Ascend. "Action words are key here," he said. "You need to speak to what role you played in making outcomes happen and not just the outcome."

Solomon provided the following example of how one can improve the language on their resume:

Ok line: Helped grow revenue by 35% year over year.

Better line: Assisted in marketing which resulted in 35% year-over-year revenue growth

Great line: Optimized marketing language through rigorous testing which resulted in 35% year-over-year revenue growth.

This language should be conveyed from the top of the resume, according to Great Resumes Fast. "Use a targeted headline at the top of your resume that includes the position title for the role you want now," the organization suggested. 

2. Leverage past experiences strategically 

If a professional is attempting to move higher in an organization or industry, leveraging past experiences is a must, according to Liesl Bernard, CEO of executive search and staffing firm CannabizTeam

"If you have hard skills listed on your resume, your lack of direct experience in the industry may not be nearly the obstacle you fear it may be," she said. "Tweak your resume to feature the most needed and most transferable skills, and highlight yourself as a leader for the next role you are seeking."  

When describing past job positions, candidates should also be sure to showcase examples of leadership accomplishments within a team or on a project, said Mary Cavanaugh, vice president and senior consultant at Keystone Associates

3. Connect through your network

With 15% of job seekers now landing jobs through social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, networking is imperative to furthering a career. Whether using social media platforms, job boards, or word of mouth, making connections clear is key. 

Professionals can and should network within their own organizations as well, especially if they are seeking a promotion, according to Cavanaugh. Participation on committees within their organization and listing them on their resume, for example, not only puts their name and face out in the open, but also illustrates their commitment to leadership, Cavanaugh said. 

For more, check out TechRepublic's article on the Top 5 resume mistakes to avoid

Also see 

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Image: iStockphoto/fizkes

By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.