Lindsay Olson

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Dusting Off Your Resume

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When is the last time you updated your resume? Sure, you may have added job experience, but did you actually clean up the copy you use to sell yourself to prospective employers?

It’s important to continually change your resume to best reflect your experience and skills. Chances are you’ve accomplished at least a few things in the last few months that should be added to your resume. The wording, too, should constantly be tweaked to improve readability. Even if you aren’t actively looking, as you gain additional experience and achieve greatness at work, you should be keeping track and keeping your resume up-to-date.

Work on the Wording
Many resumes are just too wordy, which can make them difficult to read and longer than necessary. Work to use shorter, descriptive sentences.

When you can, use quantifiable numbers (increased sales by 30%). This helps employers see what exactly you’ve achieved, and it can give them some sense of how you might be able to solve their problems.

Word each sentence in your resume so that it answers the question “so what?” to hiring managers; why should they care about this skill?  If you focus on the skills they’ve asked for in the job description, you’ll be more likely to wow them with your resume.

Tips

  • Fragments are okay
  • Bullet points make it easy to scan your resume for highlights
  • Look at the job description and use wording from it in your resume to make the obvious connections for the reader
  • Skip the personal pronouns

Focus on Results
Your goal in your resume is make it very easy for the reader to connect the dots. You should be able to clearly illustrate the results you’ve brought in past jobs if you want to set yourself apart. Relate those results to what might be expected of you at this company. You’re looking to quantify as much as possible these achievements.

Here is an example of how to transform a boring part of in your resume into a results-oriented statement that will garner more attention from the reader.

Use specifics examples including media hits (include the publications), team size, percentage increases/decreases (increased national media hits by 150% by doing A, B, C), time frames (hired an internal team of five PR professionals within 12 months).

Many people aren’t descriptive enough, or focus on the wrong things in their resume.  While you don’t want to be wordy, you do want to properly describe what you did. An ounce more detail makes a huge difference.

After you’ve worked on your resume, ask a friend to review it and point out any areas of confusion. Keep it constantly updated so you don’t risk forgetting important achievements in a rush to put a resume together last minute. You’ll save yourself many hours of frustration!

Photo credit: JD Hancock

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