So you’ve done a clean up of your room, your closet and perhaps even updated your book collection or playlists. It’s a good feeling when you’ve got things cleared out and organised. But when’s the last time you updated your resume? Whether or not you’re looking for a job, your resume also needs a clean up at least once a year. It’s a good opportunity to determine what things you need to take out, what to add and what to update.
How to update your resume
Here are 10 key points to consider when giving your resume a spring clean!
Keep the length appropriate. Your resume must contain enough information to get you shortlisted for the interview but not too much so that it is onerous to read.
Use direct dot points, as well as writing full sentences. Use phrases that highlight the important points. You don’t need to have complete sentences, but your sentences must make complete sense.
Re-read your draft repeatedly to see where you can condense ideas and eliminate unnecessary words.
Ensure your resume is well laid out and use action verbs that emphasise what you do and what position’s you’ve held.
Using a past-tense verb suggests an accomplishment or activity you have already completed. This creates a stronger impression of achievement than unsupported claims such as “creative” or “great at mechanical engineering”.
Include current business, technical and professional affiliations and list any special participation or leadership examples.
Be as specific as you can about company names, titles, and accomplishments. Ideally, quantify accomplishments by using numbers, dollar amounts, time saved and percentages as well as before/after comparisons.
Avoid making broad claims such as: “Significantly increased overall productivity”. Use a quantitative summary of an achievement instead: “Increased assembly output 17% in six months while reducing error rate by 4%”.
State your accomplishments firmly without over inflating your achievements and abilities. You will have to live up to your claims at the interview stage and once you commence your new job.
Give a brief work history for each job that includes specific responsibilities, highlighting tasks or roles of particular importance or interest.
Remember that your resume is a marketing document and a valuable tool that is worthy of you taking the time to put together.