Ah yes, it’s that time of year again. The spring breeze carries tunes of songbirds back from their winter vacation. The shorts and flip flops are pulled from the bowels of your closet and rejoin your daily wardrobe. No matter how bitter the wind might be on a chilly day, you will NOT turn on the heat and you will NOT pull that winter jacket back out, because you are bound and determined to press onward into warmer weather. School kids are hardly containable any time the thermometer climbs above freezing, and the aroma in the air tells you “someone is cooking Johnsonville brats.” Yes, it is definitely spring. And with spring comes spring cleaning! As you bust out your Palmolive and start playing “What the heck is this and why did I ever keep it” with your junk drawer, remember that spring cleaning is not only an opportunity to tidy up your dwelling place, but it is also a chance to clean up other areas of your life that might need a spit shine as well, such as say, your resume.
Whether you’re trying to land your first job out of college, you’re looking for a summer gig, or you’re just looking for a change in your current job, spring is as good of a time as any to go “out with the old, and in with the new.” So what are some areas of your resume that might need a good scrub job?
Since the last time you sent out your resume, your contact information might have changed. It is vital to make sure your name, phone number, email address, etc., are all up-to-date. Otherwise, how will a potential employer contact you if they are interested? Doh!
If you are choosing to include an objective, specificity is key, so make sure that it accurately reflects the job you are looking for “right now.” If your objective statement is so broad that you were able to use it when you got your summer job during college six years ago (think something lofty like “I aim to advance myself professionally by broadening my skills and enhancing my experience,” or some other form of fluffy garbage) then you’re just not doing it right. Make sure to update your objective to reflect your specific goals at this given moment.
The positions you listed on your resume before to get your last job might not cut it this time. Again, it is important to look at what your professional objectives are right now. Take a hard look at the positions you are considering applying for, and include only the most pertinent past positions to the one you are looking at now. (Note, even your past positions aren’t directly related to what you are wanting to do now, never fear. You can still tailor your resume to showcase the traits and skill sets those positions utilized that would also apply to the position you are currently looking at). That fast food cashier job might have been needed as a filler the first time you sent out your resume, but it’s time to trim out the unrelated experience and showcase just what about your experiences would be a value to your potential new employers.
If you are including references, make sure you update these as you develop professionally too. Again, your middle school track coach might know a ton about your work ethic and personal development over the years, but make sure you are including references that can really speak to who you are personally and professionally TODAY. Make sure to think about your most recent positions, organizations you’ve been a part of, etc., and think critically about who you are choosing to vouch for you should a potential employer call them for a resume check.
As we continue to evolve and mature professionally and personally, we need to make sure to update our resume accordingly. Happy Spring Resume Cleaning, everyone!