Spring is just around the corner (starts March 20)! If your resume hasn’t been getting the results you want, Spring is the perfect time to “clean it up” and significantly improve it. Here are five tips to freshen-up YOUR resume this Spring:
1. BE BRIEF.
Of the five main sections of a resume – Header/Contact Information, Career Summary, Professional Experience, Education and Affiliations or Professional Development – the Career Summary is where brevity counts most. As they say, “Less is more!”
The Career Summary is a brief statement of who you are, where you’re “coming from,” and what skills and expertise you have to contribute to an organization. All you’ll need to grab the reader’s attention are five or six lines of text highlighting the benefits and contributions you offer as a professional.
2. BE SPECIFIC.
Resumes that get noticed focus on specific, tangible results. Quantify everything you can, including retention rates, sales numbers, profit margins, numbers of projects, numbers of people, performance quotas, and so on. Whenever possible, use percentages, dollars and hard numbers.
Although you should be as specific as possible throughout the entire resume, quantification should be used most in the “Professional Experience” section. Here is where your past jobs, roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments are listed. This is also the section where most employers and recruiters focus 90% of their attention. The information you present here, and how you present it, can decide the fate of your candidacy within about 10 seconds of resume scanning time.
3. BE ACTIVE.
In your resume, use strong action verbs at the beginning of every sentence. Words such as “lead, launched, directed, built, managed and generated” have a lot more impact than a passive phrases such as “responsible for” or “handled.”
4. BE SELECTIVE.
Focus on information that is truly relevant to your career goal and edit out the rest. There is no need to focus on your high school achievements or volunteer work if they are not relevant to the career you are looking for or if they are in your distant past.
5. BE HONEST.
Never, never, never lie on a resume. If you lie or “stretch the truth,” you will always lose in the long run. Your resume is a “living document” that will be edited and updated through the course of your job search and your entire career. Taking a good look at it this Spring, and at the start of every season, will help you get more interviews – and ultimately, better job offers!
Copyright © Career Potential, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © Career Potential, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Expert and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” Download your free career success gifts now at http://www.careerbookbonuses.com.