Warning: Your resume is aging – fast!
After spending so much time finding the exact wording and a flawless format, it’s natural to want to lock your resume behind a layer of protective glass and invite the world to admire it from afar; why mess with perfection, right?
Wrong! A static resume is a dead resume. Think of it this way – maybe this version got your foot in the door at a particular company, but what about the next opportunity? Whether your goal is an internal promotion or a career move outside of your current organization, your resume needs to sum up your experiences in terms specific to each hiring situation. By leaving it untouched, your resume’s relevance is gradually slipping away.
Here are a few tips for keeping it fresh and applying your experience in new ways:
Go Beyond Your Job Title
What does that “coordinator” or “assistant” title really tell an employer about your past experiences? The typical job description bullets that accompany a job title may only be telling one small part of a larger story (not to mention, these standardized descriptions can be just plain boring!) To break out of this rut, try making a thorough list of every responsibility you’ve owned in each position. Don’t be concerned if your list starts to get long; the more you can add to this list, the better. Having a large pool of experiences and skills to draw from helps your resume to be more versatile and adaptable.
Speak Their Language
When crafting a resume that stands out to an employer, it’s important to focus on translating your specific experiences into terminology regularly used at that company and in the industry at large. Take some time to review all the information available to you about the particular employer or opportunity at hand; read through the job description entirely, scour corporate websites and all social media platforms for commonly used phrases and core value statements. A few tweaks in word choice can make sure your experience, “talks the talk.”
What’s in a Gap?
If you have a gap of time without employment on your resume, do not shy away from it! While many applicants feel the pressure to falsify dates of employments, it’s better to be prepared to own these periods of downtime by showcasing professional development that took place outside of the office setting.
Spend some time creating a detailed list of any educational, volunteer or other supplemental work you may have completed during these gap periods. Each opportunity is looking for something different, so make sure to highlight the accomplishments that fit best; One situation may call for embracing your experiences giving back to your community, while another puts an emphasis on continued educational endeavors.
Your resume is a living, breathing document. Keeping your experiences up-to-date and easy to adapt ensures you’re ready for opportunities as they arise.
Do you have any tricks for keeping your experiences fresh? Share them below!