When people tell you that looking for a job is a full-time job in itself, they aren’t kidding. It usually takes a scary amount of time and energy to search for opportunities, network, prepare for interviews, actually interview, and then follow up. But the truth is, as much as we dread it, looking for a job is a job that we’re all doing more and more often.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of years employees stay at one company is just under five. So, even if you aren’t currently in the market for a new job, chances are you will be in the near future. That’s why it’s so important to constantly keep your resume up to date. You never know when you might need it again.
If it’s been a little while since your resume has seen the light of day, it may be time to get it out and dust it off. Here are a couple of tips to help you get started.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Cut Stuff Out
Before you start adding to your resume, check to see if there’s anything that can or should be taken out. Objective statements for example are now seen as obsolete. If you still have one, consider cutting it out and replacing with a list of your skills set instead. Need another example of cutting stuff out? If you’ve been out of high school for a few years, it’s probably time to delete any mention of your old stomping grounds.
Take some time to really think through what you include from your past. Your resume should be succinct and, at the same time, powerful, so there may be some parts of your resume that could be restructured to have a stronger impact.
2. Update Your Resume with Relevant and Valuable Information
After you’ve cut out any unnecessary information, it’s time to start updating your resume with new awards, achievements, and skills. Because you only have one to two pages max to demonstrate your work experience and knowledge, remember that every word counts. Craft your resume carefully with power words like these.
As you describe your work experience, try to stay focused on your accomplishments rather than tasks. Share measurable information about how you’ve made a difference in the companies you’ve worked at, whether that’s how much you’ve increased sales or a problem you solved for your former employers.
3. Keep it Updated As You Move Forward
Every time you win a new award or achieve an important goal, update your resume as soon as possible. That way, you won’t have to spend a ton of time on it when you’re ready to move on to a new job.
Your resume is typically a very important step in getting a new job. But, remember that there are a lot of other steps to successfully landing a job too, so don’t stop here. After you’ve updated your resume, take a look at any online profiles you can update, start brushing up on your interview skills, and find ways to network now so you’ll have the connections you need, when you need them. Preparing ahead of time will help take the fear and dread out of your next job search, and hopefully, help you find the perfect fit fast! For, as one of our great presidents Abraham Lincoln once said, “I will prepare and someday my chance will come.”
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.