As it is now officially spring, the weather is warm enough to begin sweeping out the collected triplicate Christmas gifts, stored foods from our record snow storms and extra hoodies in the closet.
But it’s also a perfect time to clean out your resume.
It’s always good practice to do this at least once a year, or at least every job change, so that you don’t fall behind. The method we’re sharing is not guaranteed to score you that next big job, but we do guarantee it will make it a lot easier to navigate for your next potential employer.
Does the order of your resume makes sense?
Ideally, your employer will want to see the following categories, and we like to see them in this order: Summary/Objective, Education, Skills, Employment History and References.
Make sure that within each of those sections, the most recent item is first, and go backwards in time. If a position is more than 10-15 years ago and has nothing to do with the skills you want your next job to have, cut it.
You want your resume to be recent and relevant. If you are going for a position that requires certain technical or software skills, ensure that you highlight these in the Skills section. Recruiters and employers often run searches looking for certain key words that match positions – ensure your resume has those key words and certifications, etc.
KISS – Keep It Short and Sweet on your resume
Gone are the days of employers requiring a one page resume. But, understand that employers usually only look at the first page. With that in mind, you want clarity on each of your jobs.
Clearly list (even boldface) the employer name, dates (including month and year) of a job, position, and then 2 or more sentence-long bullet points describing your job duties. For example, often a receptionist has done far more than answer the phone. Resumes are a place to brag about all you’ve done… concisely.
Tightening your resume’s language.
As mentioned above with the skills section, you want your wording about each prior job to reflect the language people are searching for.
Make each word have impact. Instead of simply mentioning “Ran a cash register,” talk about the variety of transactions you handled, or that you handled sensitive information while providing quality customer service. In one sentence we have the key words “transactions,” “sensitive information,” and “customer service” – all 3 of these are things Tailored and many other potential employers look for in a basic resume.
To put it another way, you’re writing a news article (lots of punch in every sentence), not a rambling essay for school.
Now, we know that it is your goal in life to be like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and print your resume on pink paper with glitter and perfume – but in one word, DON’T.
Let the wording of your employment and accomplishments do the talking, not colored borders and funky fonts. Remember, you’re trying to get a job, so like your dress at the interview, keep it professional. Legally Blonde is just that: a movie.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us or use the comment function on this blog post, or on social media. We are here to help get you in the best possible shape to score your next position, so ask away!
Happy Spring (Cleaning)!