Is it Time to Clean Up Your Resume?

Make your resume stand out

It's never too late to switch to a career in information technology or get an online nursing degree, but when it comes time to dust off that resume, how do you keep it relevant and desirable? A good resume is in need of constant updating, requiring continuous adjustments and ongoing attention to detail. Here are some tips to get you started.

Basic resume clean-up

  • Check to make sure all of the basic information is still accurate. Are you at a new address? Using a new email? 
  • Read over your resume and remove any experience that is over 10-15 years old.  
  • Remove excessive language and argot.
  • Ask yourself if your resume should be one page or two. If you have under 10 years of professional experience, try to limit it to a single page. However, this rule is subject to much debate

Making your resume unique

  • Highlight experience that is quantifiable. When employers are searching through numerous resumes, proven results will demand attention.
  • Edit your resume to cater to each job for which you apply. Utilize your experiences that specifically relate to a position and make them stand out on your resume. 
  • Take advantage of keywords. Every job description has a set of words indicating the type of person they are looking for. Use keywords to stand out and demonstrate that you understand the specific skills needed for the position.
  • Make sure to follow individual instructions for each employer. Does an employer want your resume in a PDF or Microsoft Word document? Do they want your resume submitted through a submission manager or emailed? Overlooking these instructions can immediately get your resume removed from consideration.

Keep your resume relevant

  • Update computer program and software skills regularly to ensure your resume demonstrates current trends.
  • Adapt your resume across various formats to make it available to a wide array of employers. Websites such as LinkedIn are a great place to display your resume online. 
  • Recently, resumes have taken on creative and interactive forms, but remember, consider what job you're applying for. Applying to jobs for registered nurses will likely take a more traditional resume than applying for a job at a creative Internet startup. 

Once your resume is polished and updated, proofread the content and have a trusted friend edit it. Having another set of eyes on your resume will help to fill in any gaps you may have overlooked.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. To find out more about WGU's online degree programs, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers

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