Spring is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean there’s not enough time to get some spring cleaning done. At the office, take a minute or two to toss old sticky notes into the trash can, dust around your computer and organize the impressive stack of papers you’ve accumulated over the course of the spring season. It won’t take long, and you’ll be glad you did.
But that’s not the only kind of cleaning that might be needed around this time of the year — or any time of the year, for that matter. Hop on your computer and take a look at the latest version of your résumé. Yes, the likes of LinkedIn have given the traditional document a run for its money, but when it comes time to head in for an interview, rest assured, you’ll need an up-to-date copy of your résumé.
Did you know the average time spent reviewing a resume is less than 25 seconds? That said, in order to maximize the value of the document in our present day and age, how can you know when your résumé needs some work? Does it tell your story effectively?
Fortunately, there’s no need to scour the Internet looking for answers — the five points below are clear-cut indications that it’s time for your résumé to receive the tender love and care it’s been denied in recent months and years:
1) Objective Statements Are a Thing of the Past
Does your current résumé still come with an objective statement at the top? If so, it’s time to get rid of it. Objective statements are all about what you’re looking for — not a potential employer. Instead, kick off your résumé with a personal summary that catches a hiring manger’s attention by way of a short, industry-specific synopsis of what you’ve done and can bring to the table. This is your time to shine — nobody can tell your story better than you.
2) Power Verbs — If You Don’t Have Them, You Need Them
This is Résumé Writing 101 — boring verbs have no place on your résumé. Replace words like built and managed with more upbeat, emotion-inducing terms liketransformed and influenced. At a loss for how to do this? No worries — simply cross-check job ads in your field to see what power verbs employers are using on their end. With that said, avoid industry jargon. The last thing you want to do is be a carbon copy of everyone else looking for the same role.
3) There’s No Social Access to Speak of
Excluding wedding, reception and shower invitations, when was the last time you used snail mail? On a résumé, the space your home address occupies is prime real estate. Don’t use it for something that will never be needed; get creative, and include social media buttons and links. Your efforts on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are a prime indication of your industry influence. You may want to check your privacy settings along with public photos and details before you publish the final copy. The last thing you’d want happening is missing out on a dream role because you had inappropriate content floating around the web.
4) Your ‘Skills’ Section Still Exists
Much like objective statements, “Skills” sections are no longer needed. In fact, more than anything, they indicate that you’re doing little more than taking up space to achieve the look of a complete document. Use your work experience to showcase the hard skills and accomplishments you’ve acquired over the years. Remember, you resume is an invitation for a conversation — what would you be looking for if roles were reversed? This is much more effective for landing conversations.
5) You’ve Changed, but Your Résumé Hasn’t
This should go without saying, but if anything prominent has changed in your professional life, as much of an inconvenience as it might be, it’s time for an overhaul. This includes received awards, completed projects, developed initiatives and important promotions. You’ve worked hard for these milestones, so use them to your advantage when taking the next step in your career.
Updating a résumé that’s been painfully neglected isn’t an easy undertaking. Because of this, I ask that you get in on the action and share your expertise with my base of LinkedIn readers. In addition to what I’ve included, what factors indicate that it’s time for a résumé to be revamped? How would you go about doing this, and what specific suggestions would you offer?
You know the routine — the comments section is the place to share your answers to each of the above questions. As will always be the case, I look forward to seeing what you have for me! Thank you so much for your time and willingness to help out! Talk soon!
- Image Credit: Featured Image, Unsplash
Note: This post was originally published on Linkedin