Reworking Your Resume

A lot of us take our time to clean up the spaces in which we live, including our wardrobes, toilets, kitchens etc. But we never take out time to dust off our resumes. And so, we end up with outdated bullet points which should never have seen the light of day in the first place. When it is time to send the resume out, we send it in a hurry and because it lacks the basic keywords or phrases needed, it gets thrown out.

At least once every 6 months, you need to go through your resume, update it with new information and remove any pieces of information which may not be needed anymore as you advance.

Remove it fast!

The first thing you should do when reworking your resume is to remove ancient information from it.

You should only leave the most recent 10-15 years of your career history on your resume. Also, only include experience relevant to your current career path. If there are skills, certification which are no longer relevant, you also need to remove it. There was a time when people added that they had basic computer training on their resume. Today, a 5 year old is expected to have basic computer training. (Okay, maybe that is a little extreme but you get the point!) Why are you still adding that you have basic computer training? Even though we know you are proud of your basic computer training, and it is hard for you to let it off your resume, it needs o go. We can’t let your emotions deprive you of getting your dream job now, can we?

Examine what you currently have on your resume and make sure it aligns with the career path in which you would be job searching. You do not want to have a resume tailored for the job of an editor sent in for the position of business manager, even if you have probably done both in the course of your career.

Also, words like “assisted”, “worked”, “responsible for”, need to leave your resume. Instead words like “facilitated”, “reduced”, “launched”, “doubled”, should be on your resume.

You added your photos??? Why? How? I think you should know by now that nobody adds their photos to their resumes anymore. Please remove it fast!!!

Check for hidden pieces of information

You need to check now to see that you have written all that needs to be written.  For example, under each job role, you should outline what it was you did for the company. Attach a measurement to your accomplishments. Use word like you increased sales or decreased something else. Try to add spice to it and not make it look bland. Also, you may have recent accomplishments which you haven’t added yet. Now is the time to add it. Remember to spice it up. Don’t just type “assisted in making sales” instead say, “increased work efficiency by decreasing the average time taken to attend to a customer”.

You are your biggest sales man, hence, it is important that you know how to make use of intensifiers in describing yourself. What are intensifiers? They are strong adverbs used to place emphasis on something.

Something must be missing?

The next goal is to double-check if it is clear from your resume the type of job or role you are applying for. If a person looking at your resume cannot tell what career path you are on, then there is a big problem. Check those skills you outlined, do you really possess them?

Look out for:

  1. Time gaps: Are there time gaps in your resume? You should fill them up unless you are ready to have an explanation for what you were doing during that period. If you are making a big career change, it may not be advisable to tweak adjectives here and there as the resume can end up looking really confusing. Rather, add a deep objective statement as to why you are interested in this new career path.
  2. Hints of “creativity”: This is not the time to get creative. The average employer would spend just 6 seconds on a resume. This is the time to go straight to the point and not add lengthy stories.
  3. What is at the top? Your skills and expertise need to be at the top. So when your potential employer picks it up, that is the first thing he or she sees.
  4. Professional Layout: You may want to skip everything I have written so far and adhere to this. If your resume does not have a neat and professional appearance, it is not going to be in the employers face for up to 3 seconds.

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