Becoming a Better Job Candidate 6/12: Clean Up Your Resume

Your resume might be the most important document of your career. It’s the first thing that hiring managers see about you and it’s what determines whether or not they decide to call you in for an interview. It needs to be in prime form so you can get past the screening process. If it’s too messy or cluttered, it’ll make hiring managers toss it out for sure. And if there aren’t enough keywords, any screening software they might use will boot it out, too. Here’s how you can clean up your resume.

Edit your work experience

Limit the experiences you list to what’s relevant. And if you’ve been in the workforce for more than ten to fifteen years, you can either omit those early years or condense them into an “Early Career” section. Then, make sure you’re highlighting your accomplishments and not so much your responsibilities. And if you can’t back up those achievements with some numbers or statistics, don’t bother including them. Quantitative statements are so much more impactful than vague or general ones.

Consolidate your education

We get it, you’re proud of your education, and that’s great, but you need to limit the parts that you list on your resume to what’s more recent and most relevant. All your extracurricular activities from when you were in college sixteen years ago are interesting, but not to a hiring manager. Nor are a lot of the academic honors, scholarships, or internships you had. In fact, if you’ve been out of school for more than five years, you probably need to squish that section down considerably.

Highlight the right skills

Just as with your experience and education, you don’t need to throw in every single skill you have. Instead, limit it to the relevant ones and the more recent ones. If you’re proficient in some outdated technology that no one uses anymore, it’s time to delete that one from your resume.

Fancy it up

This doesn’t mean glitter and a fancy font. In fact, most hiring managers will get annoyed trying to read a resume with an unconventional font, so keep that simple. Try to pepper in some strong verbs that demonstrate that you took action, showed leadership, or initiated some innovative ideas.

Customize it for each job

Remember that you don’t want to send in a generic resume for each job—that’s a sure way to get passed over. Instead, reread the original job description and see what gaps there are between the job’s requirements and your resume. Then, make sure your skills and experiences echo those keywords and make you seem like the perfect fit for the job. Show each prospective company what you can do for them!

For more tips on finding the job of your dreams, contact our team today.

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