April 23, 2004, Newsletter Issue #14: Resume Updating

Tip of the Week

There are two reasons to update your resume:

1) On an annual basis – not only to keep your resume current with accomplishments and performance against goals, but so that it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice if you need it.

2) Between jobs or when you actively decide to change employment.

For updating your resume between jobs, make sure your objective is clearly defined. Stay away from generic phrases such as “To find a position of responsibility with a growing company.” Be specific. If you want to be with a small company, say so.

If you want to use specific skills that you have, say what they are. Use strong words and descriptive adjectives that paint a picture of who you are. Change the objective as necessary depending on where the resume is going, so that you are presenting a tailored view of yourself.

Use your resume to mirror the ad or job requirements, as long as you aren’t making things up. Select accomplishments in your background that illustrate what the ad says the company is looking for and use the same words the ad uses. Remove outdated and unmentioned items.

Make sure your accomplishments are dynamic and active instead of passive. ‘Responsible for…..” is not nearly as engaging as “Increased sales by 15% in the second quarter by…..”

Resumes should be one or two pages, on white or cream paper with bulleted accomplishments. Skip long, solid paragraphs, especially in the third person. Resumes that fold over and have a cover page that says “Introducing Ronald Smith” are more appropriate for high school reports.

Keep it clean, crisp and fresh. Make sure that it invites scanning, and that the scanning invites a closer read.

Have a great week!
Judi Perkins
Career Guru for Lifetips.com

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