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Your resume is your gateway to the job you want and career success. So it is imperative that it represents you, your skills and capabilities to the utmost. Follow these tips to give your resume a makeover. They will help your resume stand out and help you get from job applicant - to job candidate!

 Your Resume Represents Your Brand. Market Yourself!

That's right. Think of your resume as a marketing tool. Think of words to brand yourself, and put them right under your name. For example: Marsha Jackson --- Dedicated. Problem Solver. Solutions-Driven. Putting a spotlight on your key qualities helps to make you stand out, and the words summarize your core strengths. That's what hiring managers look for. That makes them want to hear more and invite you for an interview.

Use Your Resources. Get a Second Opinion.

Ask someone in your profession to take a look at your resume and listen to their advice. They will help you with keywords to use to demonstrate that you understand the industry and you are up on the latest trends and corporate lingo. Check with local professional and trade organizations. For example, if you are looking for a job in accounting - do a web search to see if there is a National Association of Black Accountants, National Association of Black Human Resource Professionals, National Black MBAs - or group chapter for your specific industry in your area. Professional and trade organizations often have members who mentor and will give you help and guidance.

Don't Make Your Objective Statement All About You.

Today's employers are looking for what you bring to make their business successful. Not what they can do for you. So avoid writing an objective statement such as - "Seeking position to advance my career …" Employers no longer want to hear that. Instead, write your objective so that it describes what you will bring to the employer --- "Seeking opportunities to assist companies achieve marketplace success by using my expertise in …." Visit the company website and review information that describes their mission, goals, and objectives. Make your objective statement about them and then connect how your experience will help them achieve their goals.

Pump Up Past Employers.

If you have any bad feelings about past employers - put them aside! Now's the time to market yourself by marketing them. Was a former company Number 1 in the market? Say so. Did the company make record revenues while you were there? Did they win industry awards? Talk it up. By associating yourself with industry leaders, hiring managers will have even more respect for the skills-set, experience and background you bring because you worked for an industry winner.

Out With the Old.

Sometimes it can be difficult for those with decades of experience to edit their resume and make it current. What do you list? What do you cut? When is it time to let certain job listings go? Contemporary wisdom says that you should only focus on the last 10-15 years of your professional experience.  In fact - you might consider skipping listing dates all together. Call it a "don't ask - don't tell" approach. There will be time to expound further and fill-in-the-dots on dates when you land the prize: an interview, and where you get to shine in person and/or by voice on the phone. Same goes for military experience. In today's hot and tight job market - why advertise your age or make it an issue.

Be In It to Win It. Customize.

Since you took the time to research companies - go the extra step to create a template resume. Then, you can easily and quickly enter the company name into your objective statement. This can impress hiring managers because it demonstrates that you took time to find out about the company, the position - and you didn't just send them a "cookie cutter" general resume. You customized.

Update Your Linked In Profile.

When you have finished your resume makeover, do not forget to circle-back to your profile on Linked In. That site is often a first stop for hiring managers to vet and fact check resumes from applicants. Make sure your profile matches up with what is on your resume. If not - give your Linked In profile a makeover too.

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