When is it Time to Update Your Resume
When you’re on the job hunt, your resume is the best tool on your belt for landing jobs.
However, it can be very difficult to determine when your resume needs to be updated, and what is worth adding to your resume. Follow some of these tips so that you can make the best resume possible.
Customize Your Resume
If you’re like me, you have probably worn many different hats during your career. I’ve been a writer, a photographer, a graphics designer, a web designer, a producer, an editor and an SEO specialist. Because of this, I needed to customize my resume as my responsibilities changed. This way, I can send a resume that focuses on one of those skills rather than giving a comprehensive view of my entire life.
Add the jobs where you focused on the skills required by a specific job. Then, go into detail about how you utilized those specific skills.
For example, a few years ago I worked as a producer for a newspaper. This job required me to write, edit, shoot photos and design. When I apply for writing jobs, I mention my time with that newspaper, but I focus on all of the writing I did while I was there rather than a comprehensive view of each and every thing that I did.
You can have a list of general skills that you know how to do, but make sure that the things you focus on are what the hiring manger wants to see.
Awards From Noteworthy Organizations
While I was in college, I was recruiting students to work on the school paper. Every time I interviewed a student to work with us, it would typically begin with a critique of their resume. In one case, I had a student in their early 20s who mentioned that they were the state-runner up for their high school basketball team.
Although I am sure that he was proud of this achievement, I assured him that there were very few places he could apply to that would care about this.
You can add awards and accomplishments to your resume, but make sure that they are things that hiring managers in your field will care about.
On several versions of my resume, I mention awards that I won through the Indiana Collegiate Press Association for writing and design. However, as I have gotten older I have realized how less and less that achievements on the college level mean in my field. This became adamantly clear when I took a peak at my boss’s resume at a previous job and saw that he won an Emmy.
If you are wondering whether or not to add an award to your resume, talk with some professionals in your field and get their advice.
Jobs That Enhanced Your Career
You can split my career down the middle between jobs that enhanced my future and jobs that I took to pay the bills.
Working for an international webzine that flew me across the country to create content using best practices for SEO is something that is front and center of all of my resumes. However, working for my dad’s company in his warehouse taking apart old air conditioners when I was 15 is nowhere near my resume.
Although I hold that time working for my dad near and dear to my heart, the places where I want to work (media companies) don’t care that I know how to take apart old air conditioners.
Experiential Learning and Extra Curricular Activities
I was editor-in-chief of my college newspaper for the bulk of my college career. You better believe that I mention this all over my resume.
Even though you can argue that this isn’t “real world” experience, it still shows that I spent 4+ years learning journalism and teaching others.
Let’s say you want to work in accounting. If your college has/had a finance and accounting club, mention your time with the club on your resume! It shows that you are passionate about this industry to the point that you even spent your free time learning more about it!
Most colleges now have experiential learning courses. My college even required that we take a few. These are courses that have students apply their knowledge to the real world along with some in-class work. One of my experiential learning courses required my group and I to perform an audit of an existing business and then explain what can be done to improve their website.
When I look at the different jobs I have had throughout the years, I can safely say that this course gave me the knowledge that I needed for my future.
If you have any similar experiences, put them down!
Hire a Professional Resume Writer
The best thing you can do for your resume is to hire a professional to write it. Look, the job market right now is pretty rough. Jobs are hunks of meat that are being thrown to packs of ravenous dogs, and if you don’t do everything you can to maximize your chances, you will be left without even a few scraps.
A professional resume writer works to make sure that your resume will get through the applicant tracking systems and into the hands of a hiring manager. Click here for a free consultation with a professional resume writer.