Did you know that September is “International Update Your Resume Month?” Yeah, me neither. But now that the summer is quickly coming to a close it’s the perfect time to polish up your resume. Whether you’re looking for a job or not, keeping your resume up to date insures it will be one of the most important tools in your professional arsenal.
Ford R. Myers, a career coach and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” shares five tips for perfecting your resume and scoring the job you want, even in any economy.
BE BRIEF: Less is Always More
Myers advises that all the main sections of a resume – Career Summary, Professional Experience, Education, etc. – should be brief.
“The ‘Career Summary’ is a brief statement of who you are, where you’re ‘coming from,’ and what skills and expertise you have to contribute to an organization. To grab the reader’s attention, you’ll need five or six targeted lines oriented toward the benefits and contributions you offer as a professional,” he states.
Be sure to make sure your “Professional Experience” section is as detailed and specific as possible.
“The ‘Professional Experience’ section is where your past jobs, roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments are listed. It’s also where most employers and recruiters focus 90% of their attention. The information you present here, and how you present it, can decide the fate of your candidacy within about 10 seconds of scanning time. Resumes that get noticed focus on specific results. Whenever possible, quantify your results,” explains Myers.
Myers advises job seekers to use action verbs when crafting their essay.
“Words such as ‘direct,’ ‘launch,’ ‘initiate,’ ‘devise’ and ‘lead’ have a lot more impact than a passive phrase like ‘was responsible for.”
When crafting your resume, be sure to include only information relevant to your career goals.
“There is no need to focus on volunteer work or temporary positions if they are not related to the career you’re looking for, or if they’re in your distant past,” he advises.
Think you should embellish your resume? Myers wans against it. “If you lie, you will always lose in the long run.”
Above all else, think of your resume as a living, breathing document. Continue to update and refine it as you add more professional experience.