Spring Clean Your Life: Step 5 – Polish your Resume & Professional Persona

spring-clean-your-resume

So far in the “Spring Clean Your Life” series, we have addressed the garden, cleaning the home, the pantry, and the closet. Now, we are going to shift gears a bit and talk about another area that’s as much deserving of an annual cleaning as your closet or your pantry:  your professional persona.

 

There is no better time than now to scrutinize your resume and make sure that it is current and accurate. This does not just pertain to job seekers, it’s something you should make it a point to revisit annually regardless of whether or not you are looking for a career change. If the only time you pay your resume any attention is when you want a new position, it’s possible you may already have forgotten some key projects you were a part of, accomplishments and accolades, dates, etc. It’s better to make examining and updating your resume an annual ambition.

 

Here are a few items to consider:

New News

In the last year, did you start a new position, learn a new skill, take a new course, gain a new certification, volunteer, join an organization? Don’t forget to include new information.

And don’t forget: if you add a new position, be sure to update the dates of your most recent position and change your action verbs from present to past.

Contact Information

Did your name change because you got married, divorced, or for some other reason? Make sure the name on your resume is the same as the one you are using currently.

Did you move, change your phone number, open a new email account? Again, be sure that people have the right information so that they can get in contact with you.

Whittle It Down

If your resume is longer than two pages, cut it down. Weed out any irrelevant positions. For example, there’s no need to include that summer you worked at Kohl’s on your marketing resume. Only include skills, work history, and personal attributes that are directly related to your career search.

Research

What do I mean by this? The science behind the resume is an ever-changing and evolving one. The layout and phrasing you used even three years ago might now be considered antiquated. Do a little research into new resume trends to make sure that your resume isn’t  outdated. See Resource Links below for some helpful hints.

Include Links to Social Media Sites

This isn’t an absolute, but if you have a business-related social media platform or website, adding links to those relevant sites to your resume can provide a prospective employer or recruiter with more insight into your potential value as an employee. The key here is to make sure that it ties in to your profession. In other words, do include a link to a relevant Pinterest board or Twitter handle, but don’t include a link to your personal Facebook page.

Proofread

Proofread, proofread, proofread! I cannot say this enough! A prospective employer or recruiter will throw your resume out the window for something as minor as a spelling or punctuation error. Do not be careless here, it could cost you an interview opportunity!

Resubmit your New Resume

If you are looking for work, then remember to submit your updated resume to any job sites and recruiters that already have your resume on file.

LinkedIn

I’ll touch on this briefly, but since my next post in the series will be about social media, I’m not going to get too in-depth. Once you’ve updated your resume, make sure the information on your LinkedIn profile has consistent and up-to-date information.

Ask someone to write you a recommendation and/or endorse you on LinkedIn to support statements you have made on your resume.

Add new contacts and delete obsolete ones.

 

Got any other tips? Feel free to share!

R

 

Resource Links

Careerealism Resume Tips

Resume formatting suggestions from Monster

Marie Claire’s New Resume Rules

The Job Pyramid’s Resume Trends and Tips for 2013

Pinterest – search resumes and other keywords on here, and you’ll find a plethora of useful information

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