“Updating My Resume is One of the Hardest Things I Have Ever Tried to Do!”
As a career coach, this is a statement I hear from so many of my clients. This is why my resume writing practice is busy! Today, a resume really has to stand out. 99% of companies still require a resume in order to interview someone for a job, even if your entrée is through someone you know. This is because most interviewing processes involve multiple people.
A resume is no longer a regurgitation of your work history. Instead it is a marketing document that weaves experience and accomplishments with a future focus on the job you are seeking. You only need to put the last 10-15 years of experience on your resume. Unfortunately most hiring managers spend only about 30 seconds or less reading a resume. It is an exclusionary document rather than inclusionary.
Sometimes it is easier to just hire a professional resume writer. However, if you don’t want to make the investment here are some things to know about the elements of a great resume:
- Two pages only, never three pages; one page is for a recent college grad.
- It must have a profile or summary on top, with some personality.
- It must have keywords for scanning software to pick up
- At a minimum, 80% of your content should be accomplishments.
- Job titles don’t have universal meaning so explain when necessary in terms of budgetary and leadership terms.
- Avoid using trite or cliché phrases such as “effective communicator” or “detail oriented.” Yawn….
- Putting volunteer/community service on your resume is fine, personal information is not.
- A one line objective is acceptable if it is specific and focused.
- Not putting dates with your education is fine, anyone can “Google” you to find out how old you are anyway.
- A resume should be visually appealing, have white space and be in a readable font such as Arial (my favorite), Times New Roman or Helvetica.
Finally, update your resume every three to six months so you don’t have to scramble when you really need it!