Source: Susan Britton Whitcomb, Career Coach Academy

As the calendar year turns to a new page, many Americans are considering turning over a new leaf when it comes to their careers. The exodus of professionals in search of new employers has already begun, with three out of four job searching actively or passively, according to a U.S. Job Recovery and Retention study released by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Wall Street Journal’s

Those in search mode will need an impressive resume to pry open the doors to their dream job. Here are some tips to make that happen.

1. Decide How You Want To Be Perceived: This is your opportunity to write your future story. Uncover and communicate your unique brand. A personal brand is a unique promise of value that differentiates you from the hordes of other candidates with similar credentials and experience. Your brand will help focus your search in terms of the type of position and industry you are targeting. It should be tied to your professional purpose-the reason you work (beyond simply making a paycheck).

2. Think Green: Every employer has the all-important question: “Why hire you?” To answer that in your resume, drive home your value and ability to contribute to the profit picture of the company. Emphasize numbers-driven accomplishments! There are three accomplishment areas that easily translate to employer profit: increasing sales, saving money and solving problems (which typically points back to saving money or increasing sales).

3. Stop Thinking of Your Resume as a Biography and Start Thinking of It as a Marketing Document: Employers aren’t interested in your first job as a paper deliverer or baby sitter or fast-food cashier. Every entry on your resume should be filtered for relevancy and the value you can contribute to the organization.

4. Stop Depending on Your Resume as the Silver Bullet: Far too many job seekers think their resume is the reason they’re not moving ahead in their career. In some cases, that is true. But more often than not, job seekers make the mistake of substituting a killer resume for networking and face-to-face interactions with hiring managers and key decision makers. You should spend ten times as much time on networking as you do on applying to online job postings.

5. Use the Right Keywords: Pare down job descriptions and pack them with essential keywords. Sources that can be helpful in finding material for your job description and keywords include online postings, company job descriptions, search, Occupational Outlook Handbook, and resume books that have samples of resumes for your industry.

6. Venture Out into the World of Web-Based Career Marketing Documents: Yes, a paper resume will be nice to have at an interview, but employers today want you to either apply online with a digital resume or email an attachment. Beyond that, consider creating a portfolio resume or a blog as a way to communicate your experience and value to employers.

Take advantage of the new year to create a new you. Dust off your career dreams and dress up your resume!