Fall is officially here! In between sips of your pumpkin latte, don’t forget to update your resume. You see, the fall is an annual high point in activity for job seekers and hiring managers. At the end of the year, which is slowly approaching, employers review and evaluate their teams. This often leads to a shake-up on multiple levels. Employees who are not satisfied leave voluntarily, those who don’t perform well are let go, and employees who are ready for bigger things typically receive in-house promotions. In all cases, new positions open up and managers rush to fill them before the holiday slowdown.
If you start moving now, you’ll stay a step ahead of the competition. So take out your old resume, blow off the dust, and make some simple updates before you hit the marketplace. Follow these five steps and your resume will be ready for your job search!
Step one: Update your contact information
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many candidates actually forget this step. They’ll submit their old resume files without realizing the contact information in the heading is no longer correct. A simple mistake like this can prevent you from getting a good job.
Step two: Revise your summary
The summary (or “objective”) statement at the top of your document should represent who you are, what you do, and what you seek.. But our goals and biggest accomplishments change rapidly from one year to the next. A summary you wrote in 2011 doesn’t paint an accurate picture of you any more. You can make some small tweaks if you like, but we recommend deleting and starting from scratch if your last job search took place more than three years ago. You’ve grown (as an employee and as a resume writer), so your resume should reflect this.
Step three: Fix your layout
Like furniture and fashion, resume styles change with the times. Update your décor, so to speak, and play around with new fonts and headings that visually bring your document into the current century. Some people find resume templates easier, which, as you know, you can find at MyPerfectResume.
Step four: Update your work history
Your work history section will need some revisions, especially at the top and at the bottom. Add any recent positions that aren’t in your document. Include your relevant accomplishments and special contributions. Then add new skills and accomplishments to your current or most recent job. Finally, drop any position that you left before 2006. Make sure your work history section shines a spotlight on your current career, not accomplishments from several years ago.
Step five: Add new skills (and get rid of old ones)
You’ve learned new skills since your last job search. Good for you! Now it’s time to pitch these to your potential employers and let go of the skills that are no longer relevant to your career plans. First read all the skills listed in your resume. Next, try to remember the last time you used each skill. If you have trouble remembering the last time you used it, cut it from your list. Read your list again. Think about the job you want. Delete the skills on your list that won’t help you in the role you want. Now it’s time to add your most recently acquired skills. You should have plenty of room now!
Within every subsection, keep your resume tight, clear, and in line with your current goals and plans. You’re evolving, and your resume should do the same. For guidance, explore the tools and tips on MyPerfectResume.