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Spring-Clean Your Resume

Spring is finally here, and you know what that means? It's time to do some spring cleaning! But we're not talking about your closet or bookshelves. We're talking about something much more important for your future - your resume.

Your resume should be updated regularly, even if you're not ready to consider a move. Springtime is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what should be added or updated so that you are ready when your dream job knocks on your door.

Here are some tips to help you spring-clean your resume:

  1. Review your current resume - Is it outdated? Take a critical look at it and see what should be added since you last updated it. Read it out loud, you may find errors in grammar, or (tense) (Current jobs should be present tense, former jobs past tense).

  2. Consider your audience - Many resumes are first read and imported to a database by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). If you use a format that uses the margin for contact information, it may not import correctly and your resume is going nowhere. Your contact information (name, contact phone number, email address, LinkedIn or professional website, and city/state) should go at the top of your resume. (This is also a good time to make sure your voicemail isn't full and your greeting is clear and professional).

  3. Highlight your achievements - Instead of simply listing your job duties, focus on what you have saved, achieved, or made (S.A.M.) in each role. Begin listing from greatest responsibility to least; or from strategic to tactical.

  4. Use bullet points - Use bullet points to make your resume more readable and to highlight key information. Make sure your bullet points are concise and use S.A.M. to emphasize your accomplishments.

  5. Include relevant keywords - Many employers and ATS screen, file and prioritize candidates resumes by tagging relevant keywords. Including related keywords in your resume will increase your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers.

  6. Keep it concise - In most cases, your resume should be no more than two pages long. Include only relevant information to tell the story of your past career progression, education/professional development, and what you are focused on (Objective) for your next role.

  7. If you are an active job seeker, tailor your resume for the job you want. Customize your resume for the specific job you're applying for. Look at the job description and be sure your resume highlights the most important skills and qualifications. Make sure these are front and center in your resume.

A Spring cleaning and annual tune-up of your resume is a best practice for everyone. You will feel more in control of your future and it will give you the confidence to apply for that dream job when it comes looking for you.

Remember, your resume is a first impression and conversation starter with potential employers, so make sure it's a good one.

Happy spring cleaning!

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