Spring is a time of renewal and fresh beginnings, and a chance to purge the old and usher in the new.
So why not do just that when it comes to your resume?
Whether you need a touch up or a complete makeover, dusting off your resume and adding it to your spring cleaning list is a great way to prepare for your next career opportunity.
Here are 5 easy ways to approach a resume refresh:
- Decide to tackle it. This might seem a bit obvious, but just as with any big project, tackling your resume can take some serious self-motivation. Decide when and where you will work on it, and for how long. Picking a time and place will allow you to focus on assessing your resume without allowing distractions to get in your way.
- Dig in. Evaluate your resume the way a recruiter or hiring manager would. Where does your eye travel to on the first page? Does your resume market your accomplishments and use language that describes your strengths? Or, are you using words that don’t hold a great deal of value (a common trap)? If you describe yourself using adjectives like “dedicated,” “great work ethic,” “team player,” or “loyal employee,” you are probably not going to stand out enough for a recruiter to start a conversation.
- Draw out themes. Examine your resume to detect running themes. Is your story of who you are and what you do well coming through? Do you describe your impact in each role, or do you simply rely on bullet points to recall your responsibilities at each job? What is the thread that connects all you have achieved in your career? If you find there is not much of a picture coming together (or worse, that you sound a bit boring), you can bet others will feel the same.
- Deliver results. Showcasing results in your resume is critical. It’s what employers are interested in reading about and listening to during an interview. With each bullet point, think about the result of that particular position, project, or initiative. Even if you can’t come up with a tangible result for each one, the more quantitative and qualitative outcomes you can add to your resume, the more it will stand out.
- Deepen your thinking. Rich detail helps you better illustrate your personal and professional story, both on paper and in person when interviewing. Review your work history and come up with 3 to 5 top career accomplishments. For each accomplishment, write down how you got there. Provide as much context as possible, from what your role was in achieving the outcome to what challenges you faced along the way. Try moving your key career accomplishments to the top of your resume. Do these jump off the page and better tell your story than the many other bullet points taking up space? If so, they will likely make your reader want to learn more about you.
A resume is just one of many marketing tools you have when it comes to showcasing your unique skill set, promoting your personal brand, and telling your unique story. This spring, make your resume a “to do” item as you enjoy the change of season—and continue to keep up with your 2018 professional development goals!
Contact us today to learn about career coaching and resume review services.
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© 2018 Traverse Career Solutions | Ellen Dunagan