by Kristy Amburgey
With the ringing in of the New Year, you probably have come up with a list of things to accomplish and set your goals. You are ready to devote yourself to your new resolutions (gym time, anyone?). I have one suggestion to add to your list. The New Year is a great time to refresh your resume and give it a New Year’s makeover or makeunder.
You should be prepared at all times to share your resume, regardless of whether you are actively, passively or not looking for new opportunities. Here are a few ideas to guide you through your resume refresh.
- Make general updates: ensure that things such as addresses/contact information, career focuses, employment dates, graduation dates, memberships, responsibilities and more are up-to-date; if you don’t have anything to revise, it may be time to create a resolution to learn a new software program, ask for another responsibility or complete a professional growth action item
- Review your format: research the many resume formats to ensure that your document fits your career field and conveys who you are; consider revising your format for the entire document or just a few sections to really highlight what you can offer; if nothing else, update the first section of your resume after your name and address information – this area is a great place to add a headline or summary
- Prioritize your sections: review the order of your resume to see if the sections are prioritized based on the impression you want to leave with the reader; the sections you want an employer to see should be listed on the first page, prioritizing from top to bottom
- Work on your customization: integrate key words and ideas from job descriptions and add them to your resume in strategic locations
- Cut down on excess wording: eliminate resume filler, which can include irrelevant tasks, overly used buzzwords or anything that does not further your candidacy for the specific job
- Edit your resume: update your resume for each and every job you pursue
- Complete a read-through: thoroughly go over your resume again and again to catch any grammatical errors or clarity issues; read the document out loud to ensure it makes sense
Although your resume may be the more visible job search tool, you should also review and revamp your LinkedIn profile, career management and job search site profiles, blogs, websites, etc. to reflect any changes you make on the resume to ensure consistency.
From job seekers to the employed, everyone should take the time to complete a review of their resumes every few months. But use the beginning of 2012 to accomplish this New Year’s resolution.
Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department. She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.