Maybe it stems from a long-buried hibernation instinct, but it’s difficult to get anything done during the winter. Vacations, holidays, New Year’s hangovers, the general malaise of short days, bad weather and having to wear multiple layers – it all contributes to an overall sluggishness that drains the willingness to do anything productive.
Luckily, spring brings a sudden burst of energy. Stereotypically, this gets channeled into a thorough house cleaning. But you can gain more long-term value by directing some of this added vigor toward your career.
Your resume is a great place to start. You probably haven’t looked at it since the last time you went job searching. It may seem unnecessary (especially if you happen to like your current position), but regular updates in times of relative calm will prevent a panicked overhaul the next time you need to use it.
With that in mind, here are a few major points to focus on while giving your resume a spring cleaning:
Clean up Grammar and Word Choice
Look for small things that could be updated. Hopefully, you don’t have any grammar or spelling mistakes (or how did you ever get the job you have now?). Read the resume with fresh eyes to make sure.
Fine-tune the language and make any necessary improvements. Seek out passive constructions and add in those vibrant, descriptive words where you can.
Review the Formatting
Consider the potential benefits of a complete overhaul. Yes, that might open the door to a significant amount of work. But like finally tackling an overstuffed closet, sometimes you need to do more than a quick straightening up.
Standards change. If you’ve been out of the job market for a lengthy period of time, the expectations for resume presentations may have changed. Research the current style and update your resume accordingly.
Remove Outdated Items
Hopefully, your career has progressed steadily over the past few years. New experiences have taken precedence over things you learned years ago. And, triggering as it may be to think about, many of your older competencies may have become completely outdated at this point, overtaken by updates in technology or evolving industry standards.
Remove anything that is no longer a meaningful selling point.
Also, watch out for other kinds of dated information. Still got your high school GPA on there? Still touting that half marathon you ran in 2011? Better nix that stuff as well.
Add Anything New
Maybe removing older items from your resume brought up uncomfortable thoughts about aging and your own mortality. Well, cheer up: The flip side of the process is much more upbeat. The outdated items on your resume can (hopefully) be replaced by a host of new skills and competencies that you’ve picked up recently.
Add all the new skills you’ve developed since the last time you updated your resume.
Start a Plan for Next Year
Your resume clean-up shouldn’t end with an update of your resume as it is now. It should also include thinking about how you’d like your resume to look in the future. A kind of job-search vision board.
Think about things you wish were on your resume that aren’t there now and consider what it would take to acquire those skills.
When updating your resume, it can help to have an objective third-party take a look. Working with a recruiter gives you the fresh eyes you need to sell yourself effectively. SmartTalent can provide the direction and advice you need to maximize your potential.
Contact them today to find out more.