Spring is in the air, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, rain is falling, and all the winter muck is melting away. As everyone begins to think about spring cleaning, I encourage you to think about your resume and career in the process.
Just as you are dusting off the dirt from your windows, dust off your old resume this spring and rebrand and refresh yourself on paper with a clean and polished presentation.
I usually advocate for a resume update in September for “International Update Your Resume Month” (https://skyeisthelimit.ca/september-is-a-great-time-to-update-your-resume/ ). However, a resume refresh in the Spring is just as – if not more – important. This could be the summer that you get the career advancement opportunity you have been dreaming of. The last thing you want is to be stuck at your computer trying to update your resume for that big break when all your friends are outside enjoying the warm sun.
Take the summer to relax knowing that your resume is fresh and up-to-date. Follow these simple steps to help spring clean your resume and be ready to land a job this summer.
1 – Bottom-Up Approach
The bottom-up approach suggests that you begin from the end of your resume and work your way to the top. This helps alleviate the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start and will help kick-start your brain to think about your accomplishments and achievement in the process.
Start by reviewing your workshops, professional training and development initiatives, awards or relevant volunteer experience. Is this section up-to-date or should you add more recent achievements? At the same time, look to remove outdated or irrelevant volunteer experience or courses and training.
2 – Rejuvenate your Career History
Still working from the bottom-up, examine your employment history. Do you really need that job from 15 years ago on your resume? Is it relevant to your current career target? If not, remove it completely. If it is relevant, parse through the accomplishments and duties to shorten the description and rejuvenate stale sentences and paragraphs.
3 – Focus on the NOW
This is where you shift your focus from the past to the present. Turn your attention to your most recent and relevant work experience. Think about everything you have accomplished since your last resume update. Write your current experience with your career target in mind. Did you find a way to save time, cut costs, or improve performance? Think in terms of quantifiable achievements that highlight your added value to an employer. Try to think like the employer – why would they want to hire you? What makes you and your experience unique now? Showcase this!
4 – WOW them with your Profile
Replace old and tired objective statements with an action-driven, high-impact profile summary that showcases your strengths, highlights your buying motivators and WOW’s the hiring committee with your added-value. Tell the employer why you are the best candidate for the job with a strong, result-oriented summary profile. Gain the reader’s attention from the start!
5 – Refresh the Format and Design
You can’t spring clean your resume without thinking about the look and ‘feel’ of it! Your resume needs to look fresh and clean if you want to grab attention and stand apart. Simple steps like adding a splash of colour and removing pre-formatted templates can go a long way to creating a polished and fresh document.
Ensure paragraphs are concise and send a clear message. Bullet points can help break up dense text and visually guide the readers’ eyes throughout the resume. Check that formatting is consistent throughout the entire document and Voilà – you have a polished resume that is clean this Spring and ready for the summer.
Need help spring cleaning your resume? Reach out to learn how I can assist you in bringing your career to new heights. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.