Spring is an exciting time. It’s finally warming up. New flowers are blooming. People all around us are a little happier.
It can be a good time to clean out a few rooms in your home. And, it can also be a great time to clean up your job search approach!
Where do you have the most opportunity to step up your job search game? Let’s start with the basics – YOUR RESUME. This is an area that we often put off until another time. Before you know it, your resume is a year (or maybe even five) out of date.
But, don’t wait to update your resume until you find a job to apply to. First, you won’t be fast enough. It will take you longer to apply for the job than you want. And, when it comes to applying for jobs, speed matters more than you might think.
Second, a resume crams an entire career of information onto one or two pages. If you put off updating it, you’ll forget important details that you definitely want to include.
Here are three tips to get you started:
- Don’t give away your age: One of the top concerns all job seekers have is their age. And, it makes sense. Age discrimination is a real thing! On your resume, there are a few things you can do to make your age a little less obvious to your future boss. First, if you have been in the workforce for a number of years, consider removing some of your early work experience — especially if the skills you gained show up in other places on your resume. Be sure that you’re using an up to date email address. Those AOL email addresses will date you every time. And, remove your graduation year from college. These minor changes can make a big difference in the age of your resume!
- Include your latest work experience: I know, I know — this sounds obvious. But, very often, we get so busy working that we forget to include what we’re currently doing on our resume. This can come back to bite us later, when we’ve forgotten the exact details. Try to quantify your results in terms of numbers. And, if you don’t have a role that’s tied to revenue, think about quantity and frequency. How many people did you manage? How many contracts did you review? How often did you work on a particular issue?
- Comb your resume for typos: This one sounds obvious too. It’s so obvious that most people forget about this. And, why wouldn’t we? We aren’t applying to be a copywriter. What difference do typos make? A LOT! Many hiring managers admit to tossing out any resume that has typos — even for a job that requires no writing. Don’t underestimate the importance of this one. Ask a nit picky friend to help you review your resume if it helps.
Last, but not least, just remember — when it comes to your resume, DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT. It’s better to submit your resume quickly for a job than to put off your application while you perfect every detail. By the time you apply, someone else will have already beaten you to the job.