This is a great time of year to update your resume. There’s never really a bad time, but why not cross this task off your list now. Some things get tossed, some things get dusted off and some things are kept and refreshed. Let’s take a look at your resume and give it a quick Autumn makeover
At the Top – Your Name and Contact Information
Toss: Labels – No need to spell out things like “cell”, “home” and “email”. It’s assumed.
Dust off: The old-fashioned Times New Roman font and replace with something professional but more interesting. Try Garamond or Cambria.
Refresh: Add the link to your LinkedIn profile.
Profile / Summary
Toss: Your objective. Just get rid of it.
Dust off: The language of your profile. Replace tired old buzz words like “energetic”, ‘goal-oriented”, and “self-motivated” and replace with words that truly describe your value proposition and differentiate you from other candidates.
Refresh: Your Professional Summary – Make it about your next employer. How will you meet their business need. What are your in-demand skills that they need right now. Make each word have meaning. No fluff here.
Toss: Old, outdated experience. A good rule of thumb is to include no more than 12-15 years of experience. Your resume should not be an exhaustive dissertation of your career. Stick with concise highlights of your best accomplishments.
Dust off: Your accomplishments. Add numbers that support your success. Avoid at all costs, listing duties and responsibilities.
Refresh: Your action verbs. Start each bullet with a strong verb and avoid duplicating the same words at the start of different lines.
Education and Training
Toss: The dates of your degree if more than 7-10 years old. No need to date yourself. Also, eliminate any internal training that you attended that would not be meaningful to a prospective employer. i.e. training on internal policies and systems.
The Bottom of Your Resume
Toss: “References Available Upon Request”. It’s assumed. Remove it. Hobbies and Interests – No one cares.
Dust off: Your work in the community. Very often, listing community involvement can enhance your story, especially when you can display good use of leadership and/or administrative skills.
Refresh: Your technical skills. Make sure you’re listing only current skills in which you have decent proficiency. Eliminate old applications and systems like Windows XP and Lotus 1-2-3. Don’t list Access unless you can build a database.
About Jeff – Jeff Metzger is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Owner of Resume Reflections He is standing by to help you document your greatness. Drop him a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit him at www.resumereflections.com