Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or just toying with the idea of finding something else, December can be a great time to get your resume ready for the New Year. January can be a busy hiring month as companies start a new fiscal year and have budgeted for new positions or to fill existing vacancies. The holidays also provide valuable networking opportunities as you socialize at various events. Work is a common topic of discussion, so you can start putting feelers out for potential leads.
As you work on these aspects of your job search, put some much needed attention on your resume as well. After all, your resume and cover letter are generally the first impression an employer gets of you and what they base their decision for an interview on.
Decide what you want. Your resume should have a clear focus. Take the time to consider who you are as a professional, what you have to offer, and the type of job that you really want. Do you want to switch careers or specializations? Tailor your resume toward this vision by highlighting your strengths in your summary of qualifications and core competencies and then emphasizing accomplishments in your job history. Let employers see how you fit with the jobs for which you are applying. Don’t make them guess.
Update your accomplishments. Think about what you have achieved over the past year and what you are most proud of. Consider replacing older accomplishments with more relevant and recent ones. What would attract the attention of potential employers? Also update your metrics. Put in the latest sales numbers or percentages, number of direct reports, or number of accounts you manage. This also shows that you have put in the effort to keep your resume current.
Consolidate past experience. If your resume still details jobs you worked 10+ years ago, it’s time to start trimming things down. Only elaborate on the past 10 years or so and leave the rest listed as additional experience with companies, job titles, and dates of employment. If you’ve shifted careers, you may want to cut back on irrelevant details from previous positions you’ve held and focus on what you’re doing now.
Have someone else review. You may have stellar writing abilities, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll catch every error. Sometimes you can overlook mistakes because you know exactly what it should say, and that’s how you read it. It’s easy to add or drop a letter or word here or there and change the whole meaning of what you were trying to say. Have a friend (or two or three) read through and see if they notice any mistakes. They can also point out statements that are confusing or need clarification. Having your resume proofread by someone not in your industry or line of work can be advantageous.
Spruce up your resume and get yourself excited about the potential for a new job. When you review what you’ve done, your strengths, and your interests, it can renew your motivation. If you’re not sure where to start or what to change, let the professionals at Chic Resumes lend a hand. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.