Barbara Safani 1 Comment

This month’s Career Collective topic is Spring Cleaning Your Job Search. Please be sure to check out the advice of my esteemed colleagues at the end of this post.

It’s been a rough winter here in New York City. We can’t wait to shed the coats, ditch the boots, and wake up and smell the flowers. (Yes we have flowers in New York City!) Currently there is an installation of flower sculptures along Park Avenue and while it’s lovely, I’m looking forward to the live tulips that are planted there each spring. Those flowers represent renewal and new beginnings. For many, spring is a time of career renewal. Maybe it’s the weather; maybe it’s the fact that many people have just received their payout for last year’s bonus and they are now ready to make a move. Whatever the reason, many people decide to spring clean their resume in March and embark on a job search. Here are five tips for cleaning up your resume.

  1. Throw out those cliched personal attributes. Attention all you motivated, team-oriented change agents and dynamic, detail-oriented strong communicators. Pick up these overused expressions and get rid of them. Prove the value you can bring to an organization by describing strong quantifiable accomplishments. Let the garbage man take away the other meaningless fluff.
  2. Weed out those endless job tasks. A hiring manager doesn’t want a job description. He wants an explanation of the unique value you brought to the execution of your job tasks and proof of how you do things smarter, faster, and more efficiently. A few sentences about your job tasks is fine…ten bullet points is not.
  3. Scrub statements about references. Take the statement “references available upon request” off your resume. It’s dated, it wastes space, it’s unnecessary, and it isn’t even true. References are available in plenty of places without asking directly for them (think Google and LinkedIn). Save the space in your resume for more compelling content.
  4. Clean out your resume closet. If you’ve been adding information about your most recent job on top of the old resume content, chances are the resume has lost its focus and become much too long. Take a good hard look at your resume and decide what content it’s time to let go of. It’s doubtful that your next employer will need a lengthy explanation of the marketing coordinator role you held in 1982 if you are now a CMO.
  5. Freshen up the look. Consider redesigning the document to improve the formatting, make it easier to find key information, and give the resume a more modern look. Check out Happy About My Resume for some updated resume styles.

— One Comment —

  1. Barbara – So true! There is so much to “clean up” on a resume to make sure it is targeted and valuable for readers. So often resumes focus on the wrong things, don’t indicate where and how they used skills and make no effort to prove their value to the hiring manager. Thanks for contributing to the Career Collective!

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