If you are applying for a new job after leaving a job you have been working for for a long time, you will need to update your resume significantly. In this case, you can enjoy updating your resume by using ‘nudges’, which are factors that provide psychological motivation.
If you’ve been working at one job for a long time and then applying for another job, you probably haven’t updated your resume in a while. Therefore, a lot of information needs to be updated, including newly acquired skills, achievements, work experience, and even contact information. The design and font of your resume can also look a bit outdated. If so, it’s time to upgrade.
Where to start? You can use the principle of ‘nudge theory’ to update your resume. Simply put, a nudge can be viewed as a psychological trigger. The principle is that you can induce a specific behavior in another person by influencing the way their brain responds in a variety of ways. That means you can make someone else take a vacation, eat a healthier diet, or take an interest in your resume.
For example, people respond naturally when someone demonstrates expertise (authority), tend to follow what the crowd does (social proof), and are afraid of missing out on something good (loss avoidance). For that reason, each company promotes its awards and publishes testimonials and case studies on the company’s website. As anyone who has recently booked travel deals online knows, companies use a variety of ingenious ways to promote how quickly their products and services are selling.
The contents of the nudge theory are being used in various fields such as social policy, education, and marketing. Below are some helpful tips on how to update your resume, a very important self-marketing tool, using some of the well-known nudges.
People naturally tend to follow those who demonstrate leadership and professionalism. So, please mention on your resume your awards you have received to date, the work you have done, and your area of expertise. Also, if you have ever written content on thought leadership, your resume information can be authoritative if it includes a table showing the return on investment (ROI) of the project you led or that information.
Humans are naturally made to follow the pack, and if there is information others have evaluated about you, the person reviewing your resume will pay attention to it.
So, by including customer or executive evaluations on your resume, you can highlight key success stories. If you’ve been active on social media or have taken on a job advocacy role, please comment on your positive social media response and information that would support that role.
Making your resume easy to read is a powerful nudge in itself. A difficult-to-read resume—with too little space between sentences, lots of graphics, small typography, and misspellings—can make a negative first impression on the reader.
Therefore, your resume should be written in a clear, logical structure that enumerates your content and is clear and intuitive to understand. Use a lot of catchy titles and keep them succinct overall. In some cases, it may be necessary to reduce the history of work so that recent performance improvement over the past is noticeable.
People naturally need trust and confidence when meeting people online without being convinced face-to-face. While authority and social evidence can help, another way to gain trust is to anticipate objections in advance and respond proactively to them.
Think of yourself as the interviewer and look at your resume with suspicion. What will the interviewer ask? Are there gaps between careers? Have you changed jobs multiple times in a row? Is there any evidence of layoffs not mentioned in the resume?
These exceptions should not be taken lightly and should be taken seriously. That is, it must be transparent and clear about what happened. For example, layoffs are not, in most cases, a personal decision, so hiding this fact may make them more interested. Briefly describe a difficult situation in your previous job and highlight what you have learned from that experience.
People have a tendency to respond positively to people, brands, and organizations that they have affection for. So, how can you increase the likes of you through your resume?
The style you use has the answer. Refraining from heavy or dry clerical terms and using a light, upbeat style can help differentiate your resume.
You can also show your personality through a cover letter. If there is something you want to say about yourself, avoid being overly formal, but be more professional and detailed. You can tactfully promote yourself by summarizing and describing your differentiating points through your CV.