When preparing for a job search, you typically review your resume and add on your most recent job, as well as newly gained abilities and certifications. It’s important to also edit or delete out-of-date information. If you don’t, your resume can become a jumble of dated achievements and abilities.

You don’t have to wait until your next job search to clean up your resume. Follow these four steps today and you’ll have a resume that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Laser-focus your current career goal

If you’ve been in your current job for a while or you’re unemployed and your resume doesn’t seem to be getting any traction, consider refining your career goal so it is laser-focused.

Having a focused career goal is especially important for people with diverse professional backgrounds. For instance, if you went into management after working as a front line employee, your career goal needs to tell your readers you’re interested in management positions moving forward, not going back to front-line job duties of the past.

Distill your opening summary

After you’ve told your readers what you are currently looking for in a job, you need to quickly sum up your background. A resume typically gets reviewed for a handful seconds on average. Therefore, you need to make your summary section quick and snappy.

Compose a summary section that is tight yet descriptive. Include all the most impressive qualities of your background and let them speak for themselves.

Don’t oversell yourself. Also, don’t get philosophical about your career or your passion for your work. If a hiring manager is interested in you, you can get a bit more philosophical in the interview.

Get your work experience down to the essentials

Winnowing down your work experience is particularly important for people with 10 or more years of experience in their field. If you have a lot of jobs and employers to pack in, you may want to create an “early career” subsection.

Do not list every responsibility you had at each job. Instead, provide a general overview and be sure to list your major accomplishments. Use numbers to quantify what you did for your past employers. Hiring managers want to see what you can do for them based on what you did for others.

Keep your skills section short and sweet

A potential employer isn’t going to care that you’re familiar with video editing if you’re applying for a quality control job at a food production facility. Tailor your skills section to align with your career goals, and be sure to include any “required skills” you may have from the job posting. By including these skills, you are telling a hiring manager you are qualified for the job and you’re increasing the chances your resume will be highlighted by resume scanning software.


Need Help with Your Resume?

At Cornerstone, we help job seekers with everything from resume writing to interview prep. Please contact us today to find out how we can facilitate your next job search.

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