4 Ways to Spring Clean Your Resume
The new and improved weather this time of year comes with a sense of renewal and change. Many of us are seeking new employment, or simply looking for a new freelance project to fill a few hours. Either way, a resume is a critical component of this process.
While we’re taking the time to spring clean our homes, bodies, wardrobes and so on, why not take a few minutes to update – or “spring clean” – your resume? Read along for some tips on making effective tune ups to your resume.
It used to be that your resume had to be in chronological order – no exceptions. Times have changed and so have resumes! Don’t be afraid to put your experience in order of importance versus a specific timeline. This can be customized for each job position, as you want to put the crucial information that the employer is seeking first.
Go through your resume and determine what is most important or the job that you want and make the necessary changes.
As important is it is to organize your resume, it’s equally as important to remove what is no longer serving you in your career. Do you need to note jobs that are 10 years old or club positions from high school over 15 years ago? In most cases, these kind of inclusions aren’t necessary. Do your best to focus on current, relevant work experience, and craft your resume in a way that highlights those accomplishments that are in line with your new desired work position.
Additionally, you can remove old, boring descriptions from your resume. Make your resume pleasant to read and focus on the most important aspects of your career so far.
While you’re removing the older descriptions, focus on adding in valuable information – quantitative data and results, specific numbers and improvements, and so on. The more specific and measurable you can be, the better. If your job position doesn’t lend itself to this kind of data, still include results from your jobs and/or internships. Employers are interested in what you did, but they really want to know how you’ve helped others in the past, which in turn can show how you can help them.
It’s also incredibly important to include other new, relevant information, even if it’s volunteer work. Certifications, associations, and volunteer positions can tell an employer a lot about you, so they are very important to take the time to include in your updated resume. We often forget these types of notes in our resumes, and they can truly forge common bonds and extra credibility with a potential employer.
This is a bit of a bonus tip, as it won’t actually appear in your resume. Ask for quality recommendations and letters from past employers. It’s incredibly important to have these on hand as you’re sprucing up your resume and getting ready to go through many applications. Give your past employer(s) plenty of time – up to 3-4 weeks – to complete a quality recommendation. When your new potential employers ask for letters of recommendation, you’ll be ready and waiting without hesitation!