Your resume needs updates and refining as often as you do your spring cleaning once a year. Taking a closer look at your qualifications, experience, and educational background and cleaning up is tedious and tiring.
However, it is also important to clean-up the old stuff to make room for the newer, fresh and a lot more updated additions that will keep your resumes ready for the competitive world of job seekers.
Resumes with that creative input will need updating as well since the creative and design world is forever upgrading to better and new styles. Here are a few tips that can help you do your spring cleaning effectively and faster.
Spring Clean Resume Checklist:
1. Remove Clutter:
The first step to any cleaning regime is removing the old stuff to make space for the spring dresses and items relevant to the season. Clean-up the resume by first removing descriptions or the extra words that do not look relevant anymore, typos, grammar and the fluff that might have made it in the first or second draft.
Clean, concise and to the point refinement so that there is more space for the newer and more recent accomplishments. Make sure what is left of the old content is tangible and important information that will let future employers get only what is needed in a clear and concise structure.
A professional summary is an introduction that you give about your accomplishments so, a clear gist giving the overall picture will make the reader want to know more. The first impression that you give is going to play a huge part in determining if the resume has had the effect that will be favorable to you.
Make sure that cleaning up the old summary will provide enough room for the other items that you need to add. There are many examples of resumes that can be found on the internet, however, it will be smart to add your content – it will be more impressive if your unique self comes out in the summary.
3. Keyword updating:
In the day and age of SEOs and profile views, it is no wonder that the content and marketing team are gearing up their writing skills with keywords that make sense and clear.
Job titles, for example, might not give a clear picture of the work that you do and so, it is good to refine your titles to a more clear and to the point description that will not leave the reader wondering what your actual job entails.
Keeping your job title as “manager” is vague will not define what your actual strength is and so “manager of the content team” shows a clearer picture of what you can do in your job especially when you update your titles on LinkedIn.
4. Recent Updates:
Relevant information in a clear and concise structure is the aim of any resume formatting and updates, the recent accomplishments can come to the top of the list and then tapers down to the first job update. Again, these updates need to apply to the job application and concise, with it giving a clear picture without too many words.
If the resume already has a timeline that spans more than 5 – 10 years, the years should be highlighted with the relevant information against each year, in different paragraphs – This will be easier for the reader to get a glance at it.
One of the main reasons that recent updates should take the top paragraph is because some skills might become obsolete 4 or 5 years later and therefore what is current and more relevant to the present should get more highlight space.
5. Recent Activities:
These do not include accomplishments and these activities don’t need to be another collection of accolades that have been achieved. This list can include volunteering, blogs read/written, books read, important seminars attended or just about any tests or tutorial sites that have been visited during the period of inactivity.
Looking from the popularity of professional networks like LinkedIn, it is safe to say that most hiring panels look for prospective employees who not only have experience in their field of studies but in their extracurricular activities as well. This shows a worldly and robust picture of you that will help you acquire the job.
6. Identify the missing pieces:
After the recent activities have been updated in the resume, it is wise to go through the whole document to search for what is missing from the content, there will be something that will not sound right or some words that just do not fit in the overall picture that you are painting.
Whether it is a particular skill that did not get the deserving highlight or experience in a job that has become obsolete; these are important information that will help in polishing your resume so that it only has the relevant content.
When going through what’s missing from your resume, it will be helpful to narrow down the skills and experiences that you will need to compete for the neck to neck with the other hopefuls in a job interview.
7. Results are important:
No matter what your experience or accomplishments are, results will get you far. Make sure that your resume has information that will highlight all your abilities but what will get a better response is the result of all your activities. Make sure, to write the results for each accomplishment or educational background and even extracurricular activities; this will give you a better edge.
Results show that you not only possess the advertised skills, but you have been able to bring desired outcomes because of your involvement in the projects, or the time spent in learning a particular skill and your effectiveness in getting a job done.
Employers are on the lookout for the most qualified, skilled, professional, experienced and more often, they are looking for someone effective in their job.
8. Your unique point:
Your resume is a gist of what you have achieved and it is also a way a reader will get a feel of who you are; advertise therefore, your unique individuality, the unique result that you can provide, the effective way you can achieve your results and why an employer needs someone of your unique quality in his/her company.
There are hobbies and extracurricular activities that will make you stand out from the crowd, highlight that and of course why is that relevant to the job that you are applying for is very much significant.
The world of professional job seekers is becoming more and more competitive and there are many more out there that might have the same skill, experience and educational background that you do, to stand out from that and everyone else, highlight the distinctive that only you can bring to the table.
The creative and design world in an ever-revolving realm of ideas and work. Your resume might be the most creatively designed a year ago, however designing is ever-evolving and it will be helpful to get the design of your resume updated.
The new age design follows the “less is more” concept so shadows and gradient fill might not appeal to an audience right now; get educated on what the in vogue design is and refine your resume accordingly.
Template, colors, and fonts are all part and parcel of designing, hence going back and re-evaluating your previous choices – your audience will only be impressed with all your accomplishments and skills.
There is also another resume update that will need your work on cleaning up and updating – Professional network like LinkedIn is an important way employers can find you with your refined keyword updates.
Most professionals in day and age use tools like LinkedIn to find that one person will be perfect for their company and therefore, it is important to take a look at your LinkedIn profile and resume as well. Here is another way your resume can help you get the job you are looking for.
Ways to Spring Clean Your Resume:
Updating your resume regularly is a good practice as it gets effective and improved. You need to incorporate the skills and achievements which you have achieved recently. This can help your resume to gain weight.
The best tried and tested technique is to craft the resume as per the job you are going to apply. Go through the job description carefully and then include in your resume but only if the job role is perfect for you. The importance of keywords is a lot as not all organizations go through a candidate’s resume manually.
Nowadays most of the organizations are using ATS software to screen and select the resume accordingly to the job vacancy available. Some of the top tips for spring cleaning your resumes that get attention are,
- Seriously trim down the page count of resume
- Remove the old fashioned objective statement
- Add up a professional summary
- Highlight all your skills and abilities
- Mention all the achievements and accomplishments
- Remove all the outdated information
- Include your volunteer or intern experience if it is relevant to the job
- Make a slight change in the resume design
LinkedIn Tips to Get You the Job:
1. Your professional network:
The best thing about LinkedIn is that it can get you connected to a network of professionals who might be looking for professionals like you and therefore, keeping yourself at the front is an important strategic move.
Make yourself relevant and your updates seen and appreciated by your audience, make sure that your connections remember you and hence the resume that you have on linked in might need more updates than your soft copy since it can be seen by a huge network of professionals who are looking for employees. It is also a good move to introduce yourself to these connections so they see and view what you are capable of.
Another important step in making yourself seen and noticed is the endorsements that you can get from your connections. This is another facade of the result that you can show to your prospective employers, endorsed for the skill you possess is a good way to paint a picture of an experienced and effective job seeker.
Good work will get you endorsements and thus giving you a great addition to your already rich collection of achievements; your resume is ready to impress.
Having a specific brand to your name is helpful, be it in the way you wrote the resume, the activities that you care for, your picture and LinkedIn header.
A specific color or a certain design that you feel talks better about you can use to remind the audience of your presence; LinkedIn provides a platform for your branding to shine through and so, your resume will look and have the feel of your brand and the individual character that you are.
4. Client List:
This is true with your soft/hard copy as it is with your linked-in resume. Letting your prospective employer about the different projects that you have handled is very impactful and therefore, imagine what your client list (if allowed to be shared) will impact the hiring process. Of course with the list, there should also be recommendations and results that will be written against each client’s name.
If not the exact names, it will be helpful if you can list out the nature of the industry that your clients work in, whether it is the IT companies or fortune 500 companies, this kind of information will strengthen your resume profile.
Of course, the most important of resume writing and updating is the honesty – it will be very easy to tear down what looks like a great resume if the resume is full of fluff or just sensationalizing what you have achieved or accomplished.
So take in your cleaning tools and overalls and start working on cleaning up your resumes; you never know when that job offer comes knocking on your door, or for a time when you are ready to start looking for another job.
There is no shortage of competitions in the world of job seekers but you are also ready to take the competition head-on with your updates and refinement to the package that will eventually determine if you are good enough for the job that you are applying for or not.