This time of year offers the opportunity for new beginnings and a determination to make something better. Whether you resolve to get a new job, go for that promotion, stick to a healthy diet, or hit the gym more—it’s a good time for reflection. This is particularly true about your career.
You may be currently on the job hunt or thinking about starting; if so, you need an effectively-written resume to greater your chances of landing an interview. And just as you put together an exercise routine that’s specific to your personal needs, your resume needs to be aligned with your particular job search. You should take the time to evaluate yours, and be sure it’s in line with what you presently need. Treat it like a trip to the gym, and follow these three steps to workout your resume:
1. Run Some Drills
Your resume should successfully tell your career story. As you go through this exercise ask yourself the following:
- Is it focused? Just like you train certain muscles for different outcomes, your resume needs to be aligned with your current career path for your desired results. If your professional summary talks about being a trained chef with superb cooking skills, and you’re applying for roles as an IT consultant, then you need to rework your details to clearly demonstrate your capabilities as a candidate for IT jobs.
- Are you showing measurable results? Saying you saved the company money two years in a row is great—but how much was it? How did you do it? And what kind of impact did it make? Quantify your information to give hiring managers greater insight into your abilities and accomplishments. Showcase specific achievements that help put you ahead of other applicants.
- Do you tailor it each time? You wouldn’t work the same muscles every single time using the same routine, so don’t use a generic resume for each job application. Customize it to match the roles you want! Use the job descriptions to your advantage and reference specific keywords and phrases on your resume to demonstrate how you’re the right candidate for the role.
- Can you be called to the front of the gym class? Include your full name, email, and phone number on the top of each page of your resume. It’s not necessary to include phone numbers of every place you can be reached, keep it less confusing and include only one. Use a professional-sounding email address with your first and last name. And never use your work email during your job search.
- How long is it? You shouldn’t work out all day, every day (unless, of course, that is your job). We keep things to certain lengths for desired results. The same goes for your resume; if you’re emailing out a 15-page short story it likely won’t be read. Depending on your professional level it should be one to two pages.
2. Allow Cool-Down Time
Put your updated document aside for a short time, and then review it again before sending it out. After you’ve had a period away from it you’re more likely to catch errors or identify what may need to be strengthened. Give it to a family member or friend to look over who will provide the necessary feedback you need, but be sure they can offer an objective point of view.
3. Make It a Routine
It would be great if we could go to the gym once and walk out in the best shape of our lives! But that’s not the way it works. So what do you do? You put together an exercise routine to follow. Do the same with your resume, and make sure you routinely review it and regularly make adjustments to keep it consistent with your search and current career goals.
Now is a great time to give your resume a workout. Put it through a few drills to evaluate its current status and assess adjustments to be made. You need a document with strong content that is focused on your personal job goals and career path—make sure your resume is helping you reach your desired outcome!