This weekend, as part of the Weekend Series, spend some time getting your resume in order. As a best practice, you should update your paper and online resumes regularly so that you are prepared for unexpected layoffs or opportunities.
Your resume serves two purposes. The first is to make it past the “bots” that scan the text for relevant terms, and into the hands of a recruiter or hiring manager. The second is to make that person interested enough to invite you to a phone screening.
Review Your Resume
As part of this process, you should review the following items:
- Resume contents – Are the contents of your resume up-to-date? Have you learned any new skills? Have you allowed any old skills to become dormant such that they should no longer appear on your resume? Don’t list every software that you’ve ever used or list random leadership skills. Use your resume to target specific jobs. You can have different resumes targeted to slightly different roles.
- Resume design – Although a straight-text resume might never go out-of-date, it does depend heavily upon your chosen field. If you are a web designer, for example, your resume should reflect your ability to choose a layout and font style that is best suited for the content of your resume. Even if you just write code for a living, you might want to reconsider the layout of your resume.
- Websites – If you have any personal websites, is the information up-to-date? Does the content and design of your website(s) reflect how you want potential employers to see you?
- LinkedIn – Treat LinkedIn as your online resume. Make sure that your headings and summaries are resume-ready. Check whether you can expand your network by adding more people. If you are actively seeking a job, follow a few companies for which you would like to work. This is also a great place to upload a portfolio or a video of you doing a presentation. However, make sure that you don’t post any confidential information. For more information, review the Forbes article Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search.
- Social media – Make sure that any information that is visible to the public or to friends of friends is suitable to be viewed by a potential employer. You might need to tighten security on your accounts.
- Email – If you are providing an email address for your Google, Yahoo, or other general email provider accounts, make sure that your profile is up-to-date and is suitable to be viewed by a potential employer.
- Learning – It’s always a good time to learn a new skill or enhance an existing one. You can pay for an online class or watch YouTube videos. Also, check with your local library for learning resources. (For example, the Lexington, KY public library provides members with free access to Lynda.com.)
- Memberships & Awards – Have you joined a professional association or won an award? Update your LinkedIn account or resume accordingly.
Update Your Resume Design
You can do a Google image search to get some ideas for a new layout and font design. Below are some example resumes:
Determine the best layout and font for your resume. One-page, two-columned resumes are popular for a reason: they can be easily parsed, and a recruiter won’t take the time to read more than the first page.
Updating your resume is is the first step of landing your dream job. Check back next month to learn more.