Life. Life is a funny thing, sometimes. One minute you’re flying high in the winds of employment bliss and there’s nothing that could possibly bring you down. The next minute the winds change and you’re left feeling unstable, unsure and tumbling to the ground without a net.
Even if you aren’t finding yourself net-less, it is always a good idea to be ready for such an occasion. That’s why it is ever so important to keep your resume up to date in case of unexpected layoffs. With this thought in mind, I decided it was time to give my own resume a little refresher and did some research to find out the best tips. These are the ones I found most helpful:
- Keep it to one page – We all want to brag about all the awesome experience we have to prove we are awesome people, but unless you’ve been in your industry for 30+ years, no one wants to hear about it. No one cares about that little internship you did for that blogger that will lead to nowhere. No one also cares about your high school job as a dishwasher. One page = a must.
- Keep it crazy simple – Employers will most likely skim your resume for information they need, so let your experience do the talking. No need for fancy formatting, colors, pictures, etc. This might not apply to graphic design people, but for the majority of other jobs, just make your point by listing your experience and skills.
- Keep it chronological – This is debatable because you might be trying to showcase what’s pertinent to the job you’re applying for. Just keep in mind that if you list things out of order, employers might see this as you trying to hide something from your past. Listing things in order is always best.
- Keep it honest – Most H.R. departments do background checks, so even the smallest white lie could ruin your credibility.
- Keep it short – Use bullet points, but limit them to one or two lines, tops. Full sentences are not necessary, so only include the key phrases you want your potential employer to remember. DO NOT write paragraphs.
- Keep it relevant – Try to use keywords you know they will be looking for. Adjust job titles, achievements and duties to reflect what they need (without lying, of course).
- Keep it smart – You don’t need to include things like, “References Upon Request” or “Available for Interview” or ANYTHING that would cause the employer to roll their eyes and think “Yeah, no shit.”
- Keep it professional – It’s illegal for companies to discriminate so unless you are an actress or model, do not include anything personal about your age, gender, etc. and again, no pictures or personal blogs, Twitters, Facebook, blah blah. Also, do not list your hobbies. Your future boss does not care that you snowboard.
- Keep it full of action – This means using action verbs to prove you’re a star. You “managed,” “planned,” directed.” These are all very boss sounding words.
- Keep it full of names – If you work in an industry where people know people, drop the shit out of the names you’ve worked with. List the CEOs, presidents and heads of divisions you’ve worked under if you know the name means something in the industry. Instead of “Assistant to the President,” you can be “Assistant to John Doe, President.” Boom.
Now, let’s all get to work (pun-intended) on these resumes and be ready for what the future brings!