When applying for a new job, you want a potential employer to see everything they need to know to invite you for an interview. It’s tempting to cram your resume full of history and details, but remember that a hiring manager may only spend mere seconds scanning each document.
Early on in your career, before you have a lot of experience, it can be easier to get away with putting everything you have out there (within reason, of course). Once you become a mid-level professional, you really should tighten things up and focus on quality over quantity. Although you may be proud of that project you did 10 years ago, how relevant is it truly to what you are doing today, or where you want to head in your career?
Making Cuts and Fine-Tuning Your Resume
As you update your resume, avoid simply adding more information without getting rid of anything. Before you know it, your resume is four pages long and each job sounds like the last. Here are some tips to make your resume streamlined and more impactful:
- Focus on the past 10 years. You don’t have to disclose every job you’ve ever held. That job you hated that only lasted four months? Delete it. That internship you did right out of college? While formative, you’ve likely come a long way since then, and it’s time to let it go. Ensure that each job you list serves a purpose.
- Eliminate redundancy. If you did the same thing at multiple jobs, you only need to mention it once. Remember that you’re not just listing tasks you performed. Connecting them with meaningful results can help you decide what really needs to be included. If you can’t show an impact, consider whether it is honestly necessary or just taking up space.
- Highlight higher-level skills and accomplishments. Skip the basics that everyone is expected to do. As you’ve progressed in your career, show the more complex projects and initiatives you’ve taken on. Demonstrate your leadership and what makes you stand out from others in similar roles. Position yourself to take the next step up.
- Read the job description. It is easy to include a lot of details that you are proud of that really have nothing to do with the job you are applying for, or the career you are targeting. Highlight the most relevant information for the position; what will impress a hiring manager and demonstrate your ability to do the job? You can always share more during an interview.
- Create a strong start. As you’ve probably heard by now, objectives are out and professional summaries are in. Your goal is obviously to get the job for which you are applying, so an objective just wastes prime space on your resume. Instead, grab a potential employer’s attention by quickly showing what you have to offer. What strengths have you developed and refined throughout your career? Which ones best align with the role you’re seeking? It’s about what you can do for them, not about what you want from them.
Your resume should grow and change along with you. You don’t want to portray yourself as an entry-level professional when you have held more substantial roles and responsibilities. It’s time to give your resume a refresh so it aligns with current standards and accurately reflects you and your abilities. Not sure where to start? Contact Grammar Chic at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help and schedule a consultation.