As the days get longer and the sun shines more brightly, you may find yourself motivated to do some serious spring cleaning. Besides your closets, your resume may be in need of a good overhaul too! If you can’t remember when you last updated your resume, now is great time to spruce up this professional accessory.
Dusting off your resume
Updating a resume may not be a regular item on your to-do list, but it should be! It’s much easier to add wins and new projects to your resume as they happen rather than trying to recall them when you’re frantically updating your document for an unexpected deadline. Take the time to reflect upon what you have been doing at work and be thoughtful about conveying these experiences on your resume. Here are some of our best tips to get you started!
Strong resumes should be…
Targeted for a specific industry or position
- Help the reader understand why you are a good fit.
- Present your related experience and transferable skills rather than focusing on ALL of your experiences.
- If you are applying through an ATS, applicant tracking system, be sure to include keywords from the job description in your resume.
Visually appealing and easy to read
- Use white space strategically so the document is easy to read.
- Select a font that will read well on paper and a monitor (Cambria, Calibri, Times New Roman and Arial are all good options) and never go smaller than 10 point font.
- Be consistent when formatting your resume and don’t go overboard with bold and italic text!
Written clearly and effectively
- Start each phrase with a strong action verb (no pronouns, do not say “I”).
- Make sure your verb tenses agree. If the job happened in the past, use past tense.
- Descriptions should convey:
What have you done?
This can be your major responsibilities, scope of work or accomplishments.
How did you get it done?
Think about the action steps you took to get the job done. In addition to action steps, you could include specifics to help create context of your work (numbers, software programs, populations, techniques, etc).
What was the impact?
From your efforts, think about the result or impact. Did your work lead to a specific decision, outcome or another quantifiable result (i.e. dollars & percent)?
Be accurate and true
- Make sure all information is correct.
- Do not embellish or fabricate your background or credentials. Not only is it not ethical, but will undermine all of your really great experience.
Avoid the following
- No typos or spelling mistakes. Details do matter and employers may screen you out of the pile if your resume has typos or mistakes.
- Avoid an unprofessional or inappropriate email address.
- Don’t include an objective on your resume. Replace it with a well written professional summary. This is your chance to showcase who you are and what value you have to offer potential employers.
M3 Placement & Partnership now offers enhanced career support for individuals at all professional stages including executives, mid-level professionals, entry level and those with unique circumstances. Please contact us for more information or to get started on your career spring cleaning!