No matter where you are in your job search, it’s always a good time to spruce up your resume. Every job application relies on this one document, and your fate could be decided in a matter of seconds because of it. Make it count!
Start by updating your contact information. There’s nothing more frustrating for a hiring manager than finding a strong resume and not being able to contact the applicant. Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter of CFS New York, says that she can typically track down those applicants but that many hiring managers “don’t have the half hour to try to investigate and will most likely move on to another candidate.” Don’t let this happen to you!
Next you need to delve into the content. As you grow and develop professionally, you are continuously acquiring new skills and your resume needs to reflect that. Add in any new projects that you’ve recently worked on, skills you’ve learned, and promotions that you’ve received. This will bring your experience up to date and allows you to cut anything that is no longer relevant.
Jennifer Greenberg, Executive Recruiter of CFS Baltimore, suggests including 2-3 accomplishments per position. Although difficult to adhere to this rule, it helps you choose your best accomplishments to include. “You need to make the hiring manager excited about you, which means that your bullet points should be strong and illustrate what you can bring to the table,” adds Cure. The interview is where you can elaborate more and discuss anything that you left out.
Now that you have everything up to date, it’s time for the quick fixes. Greenberg recommends printing your resume out so that you can physically look at it and make notes with a pen or a pencil. It’s a lot easier to catch your mistakes on a hard copy version versus on the computer.
As you look over your resume, keep in mind these quick fixes:
- Scrub it for typos. Nothing is more unprofessional than submitting a resume that has typos. It shows that you didn’t take the extra time to evaluate your work and could lead the hiring manager to question your attention to detail.
- Check for grammatical errors. When discussing your experience, it’s a common mistake to mix up tenses. Beware of this issue, and make sure you are consistent.
- Check for formatting consistency. This is the time to “make sure that all of your bullet points are the same size and properly aligned. Double check that things are consistently bolded, italicized, underlined, etc.” says Greenberg.
- Declutter your points. You do not have a lot of space, so you have to be concise. Avoid being too wordy and cut anything that isn’t necessary.
After the quick fixes have been made, go back to your computer, make the edits, and don’t forget to save! As a rule of thumb, when working on your resume Greenberg advises you to follow the K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). Make sure each point is simple, succinct, and easy to understand. If you keep these ideas in mind, then decluttering your resume will be as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Have any questions about updating your resume? We’d love to hear them in your comments below!