Netflix’s recent series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has sparked terror in the hearts of casual hoarders while inspiring others to pare down everything in their lives.
If you’re considering doing a bit of spring cleaning of your own, your resume could be a great place to start.
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Some experts offered tips on how to do just that:
Go for balance
Instead of slicing and dicing your current CV, you want something that works but doesn’t overwhelm.
“No matter the position you’re applying for, your resume should strike the right balance of concise and compelling,” says Mike Steinitz, Executive Director of Accountemps.
In case you’re wondering why it’s a good idea to cut out what no longer works, the company found resumes longer than one (46%) or two pages (47%) in length are more likely to be passed over.
“Tailor the resume to the position you are applying,” advises Beth Linderbaum, VP, Principal Consultant for Right Management. “Take the time to understand the culture of the company before applying so you can learn how to best plan your approach.”
While you’re at it, “Focus on what you performed day to day along with bigger accomplishments and projects,” advises Sarah Connors, Principal/Manager of talent acquisition firm WinterWyman. “Recruiters are often swamped, so the quicker they can absorb your information, the better.”
“Create a detailed professional summary at the beginning of the resume and highlight what areas you are experienced in” says Linderbaum. “This summary should be your elevator pitch and catch the readers eye to make him want to know more about you.” Just the highlights are fine.
But not too short
While it’s tempting to keep editing your resume once you start, you don’t want it to be so sparse you appear inexperienced.
“Anything less than one page is too short,” according to Laura Handrick, Careers Analyst, FitSmallBusiness.com. “Don’t try to summarize your skills on a postcard or it’s likely to get lost in the recruiter’s file – unless you’re a creative marketer and want to put your resume into an infographic to showcase your design skills.”
Don’t go too far back
Even if you have a lengthy and impressive career, no one needs to hear all the details. All the experts agreed that 10 years seems to be the sweet spot if possible.
Linderbaum says to “highlight your technical skills and abilities for the past 10-15 years and include some platforms that you believe you might use on the job – like social media or Office 365.”
When mentioning past experience only include the skills or successes relevant to the next one.
Use your space
Shorter resumes are definitely a thing, so aim for a single page. “As designed resumes are back on trend, you can get creative and use some space this way” says Heather Deyrieux, HR Florida State Council President.
It’s not an ego trip
“We all have skills that aren’t relevant, so you’ll need to take your ego out of this,” advises Handrick. “Even if you’ve done something fabulous, the dates and details may be irrelevant. You may want to add a line that says, ‘Interests and Pursuits,’ but don’t list the start and end dates of that activity and how much you love children unless those or traits your new employer will desire.”
Sprinkle in the keywords
Deyrieux says “You want to tailor your resume to the job description or job ad.” So, think like an SEO expert and “look for keywords and make sure they appear in your resume. Make sure your knowledge, skills and abilities match up with the prerequisites.”
And while you’re at it, Connors says to “include the buzzwords that you see/use every day in your current job to make sure a hiring manager sees those important things on your resume.”
Things you no longer have to include are your objective or your city and state according to Deyrieux. That said, “it is good to show a city and state, if the company is not willing to pay relocation, to show you are a local candidate.”
Meanwhile, you don’t have to stick to the same old structure. Lisa Rangel, Founder and Managing Director of ChameleonResumes.com, LLC said, “A short bio may be suitable for some senior roles” and that could even be half of the page.
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