The Emperor’s New Resume
I love Januarys and as cliché as it sounds, I’m all for “out with the old and in with the new”. In January each year, I like to give my closets a complete overhaul, get rid of outdated or worn out items, and be excited about replacing old things with some new style. Anything in my wardrobe that doesn’t “Wow Me” any longer gets a swift move on, to either a new owner via donating, or to the trash bin if it’s worn out.
I feel the same way about resumes and LinkedIn profiles this time of year also. It’s a good time to reflect on what the last year brought about career-wise, and where you want to move ahead. Perhaps you aren’t immediately looking for a new work opportunity, but trust me, when something enticing comes along, you’ll wish you gave that resume an earlier review. Even if nothing is new in your experience (which I always doubt when clients tell me this), there are perhaps some new keywords or presentation style that could use a revamp.
Here’s just a few tips to help you get started start on your Resume Re-Org.
Reflect on what’s new or different with your current job
Much as our waistline may grow and shrink from year to year, so does our current employment responsibilities, accomplishments, professional development, and career interests. Your LinkedIn profile also needs to reflect the changes as well. Job searching methodologies also change and perhaps your resume needs to be reformatted to address current online application protocols. How about those old work experiences? Do you really need to go back 25 years? Probably not.
Update your resume’s file extension
I still see people sending resumes that still are written in old versions of word processing. They just keep adding to a current resume and don’t reformat using the latest software. I get that it’s quick to do it this way but may not be effective in the long run. My advice, if you’re still submitting a resume with an old version of Word, for example a .doc, go ahead and make your updates and save it as a docx. Why you ask? Well, for one, at some point you will likely have to do this anyway, as ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) modernize, they will be less likely to accept that 1997 – 2003 version.
Think about that…1997 is over twenty years ago! I can almost bet that you aren’t wearing the same clothes from 1997 either because they’re out of style or just don’t fit any longer, so why would your resume be wearing the same format from then. I’m all for nostalgia, but not in a job search! Another reason has to do with the psychology of the job search. Many hiring managers want to see resumes and job search documents created in newer software, to show that the applicant is current in technology trends.
Introduce new keywords and a new style
Now I’m not encouraging everyone to jump on the band wagon for the latest trends, but introducing just a little something new to your resume, just as in your closet, can do wonders for your job search self-esteem. Adding new keywords related to your industry skill set is uber important and let’s face it, presentation style is important too. Together, these elements can work together to get you noticed.
The beauty of resumes is that unlike a closet that has limited space, you don’t have to commit to permanently getting rid of resume information. You can save old versions to look back on or reference as needed, but use those older versions to create a brand new, shiny resume that will get you noticed!
Ask the right people to review your resume
We’ve all heard the story about the emperor’s new clothes, right? The people who knew the emperor best, didn’t want to tell him his clothes (or lack thereof!) were an issue. Sometimes friends and family mean well when they offer advice on resume style, but may not always have the most current, accurate information. Or, maybe they have a hard time telling you that your resume is a “ho hum yawn”. Consider hiring a professional resume writer to provide a resume review if you’re the DIY type. If you don’t want to do the heavy lifting, you can hire someone who knows the ropes in your industry to design and write it for you. In either case, you’ll get be prepared to move ahead in your job search.
Ok 2019…you’re really here. So, let’s get into those resumes (and closets!), declutter, and upgrade our style. And, maybe uncover an amazing opportunity as a result of the effort!