Tag Archives: update

Spring Clean Your Resume

From top to bottom: out with the old, in with the new

For college seniors, graduation is right around the corner. For the rest of us, a change in weather might inspire a change of career. Regardless of the reason, spring is a great time to modify your resume to get rid of anything that isn’t working. Plenty of people clean out their houses this time of year; why not spiff up your resume?

Mop Up Your Address and Contact Information

Starting at the top, we have your name, address, phone number, and email. These are the first things your potential employer is going to see, so make sure they’re updated! Nobody will contact you if your contact information is wrong. And you most definitely don’t want your college or previous address on there. Companies want to know that you’re in their area and ready to work (unless you plan on relocating, which should be noted in your cover letter).

Clear the Cobwebs Off Your Experiences

Do you have anything new to add to your experiences? An outdated resume is an easy way to reject a candidate. If you still have your high school fast food experience on your resume, now might be a good time to remove it (unless it’s one of the few experiences you have, of course). Keep everything to one page. And if your work experience is lacking, don’t be afraid to put down involvement in charities or professional groups.

Verb tense matters. If you still have your last job listed with verbs in the present tense (oversees, leads, conducts, etc.), change those to the past tense (oversaw, lead, conducted, etc.) And if your current job duties are listed with verbs in the past tense, change those to the present tense. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s a big pet peeve among the HR community.

If you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, consider a revamp of the way you present your experiences. Change boring words like “did” and “saw” to action verbs like “presented” and “oversaw.” Have peers and professionals review your resume to make sure you present yourself in the best way possible.

Polish Your References

Remember how you used that professor you loved as a reference because you performed well as a leader in the big capstone group project? That’s great to include if you’re graduating this year, but not so great if you’ve been working for five years. The references you choose should be not only relevant, but also timely.

Take the time to contact your references and make sure their phone number or email is up to date. While you’re at it, send thank-you letters to references you’ve provided in the past.

Dust Off Your Cover Letter

A cover letter provides a chance to show that you’re more than a number or words on a page. It is by no means extinct. You’re a person, with your own thoughts, values, and experience that show you’re the right person for the job.

Your cover letter should be a living document. That means changing it depending on the company you’re sending an application to. It’s great to have a standard cover letter, but use that as a base and adapt it to each new company. If you’ve been using the same cover letter for years, update it and remove unnecessary information (e.g. old experiences, outdated references, etc).

Vacuum Your Social Media

Social media may feel anonymous, but it’s not. Your face and name are there for all the world to see. Social media is the first place recruiters go after you’ve impressed them with your resume. If your page is full of activities that aren’t exactly work safe, you won’t look right for the job. Same goes for extensive posts about your political views.

Set your social pages to “private,” and create business pages where appropriate. If most of your Facebook and Twitter information is hidden, the recruiter will settle for your LinkedIn page. That’s what you want them to see—the professional version of yourself they need to hire.

For more on resume re-education:

Resume Tips to Impress Your Interviewer

Sizzling Hot Resume Tips

Have any other questions about revamping your resume? Let us know in the comments below!

Time to Dust Off Your Resume

Tidy up resume_blogUpdating your resume can seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. With the ideas below, we’ll help you keep your resume fresh and ready to use.

Remember, concise is key.
Most hiring managers spend less than one minute reviewing a resume and determining whether it’s worth reading. Keeping that in mind, you’ll want to keep your accomplishments brief. A laundry list of your individual job responsibilities is not what employers look for. Instead, try summarizing your role with a short statement, and list two to four bullet points about your most notable achievements. Remember, they can always ask you to go into further detail in the interview.

You also may have heard to keep your resume to one page. While that is still the general guideline, if you can’t keep it to one page, try to keep it close.

Set aside time.
The scariest part of dusting off your resume is how much time people think it will take. However, if you simply dedicate an hour once or twice a week to look at your resume, it’ll seem much more manageable. After that initial update, set a quarterly reminder to assess your resume and update any new skills or outdated information. This way, if you need to update your resume again in the future, it won’t be as intimidating.

Keep it current.
If you’re a seasoned professional, you likely have years of experience under your belt. However, it’s not necessary to include your entire career history. One of the best ways to keep it current is to remove experience prior to the year 2000.

Use keywords.
When cleaning up your resume for a job application, be sure to replace cliché words with job-related keywords. Adapt your resume to the job description for which you’re applying. Doing this will not only help you highlight unique traits, but it will also stand out to hiring managers looking for the perfect fit.

Enlist help.
After you’ve updated your resume, print it out and ask two to three trusted colleagues to proofread it for you. Ask them to look for potential spacing and grammatical errors, along with anything else they think may stand out negatively.

Do a final scrub.
After you’ve looked over it one last time, make sure your font is simple and easy to read. Stick with options like Times New Roman or Arial, and be sure the font is no smaller than size 10 and no larger than 12. A font that is too small or too fancy is distracting to hiring managers.

How long has it been since you’ve dusted off your resume? Have any tips to share about the process? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Celebrate International Update Your References Week

International Update Your References WeekThe first full week in May is International Update Your References Week. Now is a great time to make sure your contacts maximize your candidacy and their information is current. It’s also a great time to touch base with any references you haven’t talked to in a while.

References are important because outside opinions can provide a positive testimony to your skills, ability, and commitment. To help build, update, or fine-tune your reference list, here are some Movin’ On Up articles that can help.

Top 10 Go-To People For Good Job References
Getting a Good Job Reference After You’ve Been Laid Off
5 Steps to a Brilliant Reference List
3 Tips on How to Ask Someone to Be a Reference
What Makes a Good Reference a Great Reference?
What to Do With Your Job References After you Get the Job

Do you have any questions about your reference list? Let us know in the comments section below and your question could be featured on our blog.

Here’s How You Can Celebrate Update Your Resume Month

National Update Your Resume MonthSeptember is International Update Your Resume Month, which is a great time to put your job search into high gear. Just as students across the country are starting a new school year, job seekers should be taking advantage of this opportunity to inventory what they have learned, along with how they’ve grown in value, and incorporate it into updating their resume.

And even if you aren’t currently job searching, it may be a good time to update your resume. If you’ve had a job for a few years, you probably have learned new skills or have new accomplishments to include on your resume.

To celebrate this occasion and help you with some guidance in updating your resume, here are our top 10 blog posts on resumes. Take a look through these archives and find some inspiration to make your resume stand out.

•    Resume Boot Camp
•    So What’s This Gap in Your Resume?
•    30 Power Words to Power Up Your Resume & Boost Your Job Search
•    Heavyweight Debate: PDF vs. Word Resumes
•    Next at 10: How to Make Your Resume Newsworthy
•    Five Things No Resume Should Ever Say
•    What’s Missing From Your Resume?
•    Give Back and Add Holiday Cheer to Your Resume
•    Five Common Words You Don’t Want On Your Resume
•    Smart Phone Apps for a Smarter Job Search

Do you have any ideas on updating your resume? Let us know in the comments section below.