It’s that time of year again, and as we start to think of ways to refresh and regenerate, what a better place to start than our resumes! Especially if it has been a few months, even a year since you’ve last updated, there are likely many new projects, experiences, and achievements that you will want to include. Your resume is a document that blends both storytelling and marketing into one finely tuned package, so making sure you are using that space wisely is important.
Things to keep in mind while updating:
1). Quantify: Adding those specific details like the amount of money or percentage of time you saved your employer goes a long way in showing the impact you had while working there. This information is especially crucial to update frequently, because the longer you wait to add in that information, the more challenging it will be (and sometimes impossible to get the exact numbers/data if you no longer work there). You are much more likely to be able to include more specific and accurate information if you update your resume frequently.
2). Consistency: Double check your formatting for consistency throughout, and maybe even have a second or third pair of eyes check this for you (such as a CMC Career Adviser). Little details can easily get thrown out of place, and while it might not seem like a big deal, consistency on your resume shows to an employer that you are detail oriented and that you took the time to proofread. Your resume is your first impression, and you don’t want to appear sloppy in your first impression to anyone.
3). Note Job Descriptions for Key Words: I would recommend having a document where you list common skills, words, and phrases you come across as you search postings for jobs you are interested in. Compare that document to your resume, and see where the gaps and similarities are. For example, you may include “Created marketing materials through using Photoshop to promote _____ campaign” on your resume, but a lot of the postings you are interested in mention looking for list specifics such as “campaign management” “business to business” and “direct marketing.” Perhaps you do have that exact experience in those areas, but the employer won’t be able to know that because your resume wasn’t picked up by their ATS (Automatic Tracking System).
Happy resume updating! Remember that there are great resume visuals and guides available to you on Handshake under the Resources tab.