Spring Clean Your Resume: 5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Resume and Land the Job You Want by Summer
Resumes are no different. They offer employers a brief glimpse of your experience, and (hopefully) make them want to learn more. And like those high-traffic areas of our homes, resumes need to be refreshed periodically to make sure that they still represent you and your expertise well.
Spring clean your resume this spring by doing these five things:
1. Make Sure Your Resume Matches Your LinkedIn Profile.
Hiring managers and recruiters will check out your LinkedIn profile shortly after reviewing your resume. Any inconsistencies—different dates of employment, different job titles, etc.—will be major red flags. When you update your resume, make sure to edit your LinkedIn profile accordingly, and vice-versa.
2. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread.
Hiring managers are often inundated with hundreds of resumes for a single position. A typo or grammatical error provides a quick and easy reason for your resume to be moved to the “no” pile. Use a free tool like Grammarly or have a friend or family member proofread your resume to look for formatting issues (different sized bullet points, inconsistent font sizes, etc.) And be sure to spell out any acronyms. Industry or company-specific acronyms can confuse hiring managers.
3. Quantify Results, but Don’t Go Overboard.
It’s true that showing measurable results makes your resume more impactful. Reporting that you increased qualified leads by 43 percent, for example, is more powerful than stating that you generated more leads. However, statistics become less compelling when they are overused. Only include data for your most important results.
4. Remove Old, Unimportant Jobs.
You probably learned a lot of valuable lessons from your college job as a restaurant server or bookstore clerk, but employers simply aren’t interested in irrelevant jobs from long ago. Including those positions on your resume flags you as a rookie.
- Remove them and use that precious page-space for more important qualifications.
- Beyond that—if you have work experience doing something that you do not want to do in future roles, leave it out.
- If your last position involved a lot of project management that made you want to tear your hair out, don’t include it.
Resumes need to be refreshed periodically to make sure that they still represent you and your expertise well.
5. Replace Vague Verbs with Compelling Action Words.
It’s easy to use the same verbs over and over again in your resume, but using strong action verbs showcases how you took initiative in your role. Think words like “chaired,” “orchestrated,” and “planned” instead of the more overused and vague “handled,” “managed,” or “led.”
Once your resume is properly spruced up, make a habit of it. Put a note on your calendar every quarter to review your resume and LinkedIn profile—even if you’re not on the job market. It’s much easier to provide concrete details and quantifiable results when the work is fresh in your mind.