I have to apologize to my readers for not posting recently. I am busy busy busy, but that’s a good thing. I’ve been hard at work with some new projects, including working with some new content writing and resume clients as well as developing a marketing strategy for my writing and editing business. This is all good.
So let’s talk about resumes for a minute. Does yours paint a true picture of you or are you using the same boilerplate language from years past? If it’s stale, now’s the time to review and revise. Even if you’re currently not in the market for a job, it never hurts to keep yours updated. If it’s been over a year since you’ve looked at yours, it’s probably time to ask yourself some questions.
- Have I had any new training or participated in relevant workshops?
- Have I joined any community organizations?
- Have I participated in new activities in my community or within my industry?
- Have I really ever defined exactly what I do in my current job or prior positions?
By answering these questions, you take the first step in making sure your resume is the best it can be. Remember today it’s not only about listing prior employers and job experience (boring!) , but about presenting yourself in a way that highlights your skill set and what you bring to the table in comparison to others. You’ve got to “stand out.” You may be competing with hundreds of other applicants. And even if you’re not in the market today, you never know what’s around the corner, especially in this economy. So be prepared!
It’s also a good idea to reformat your resume. The old way of the date on the left is just that — old! And add some style. An example might be a shadow box that highlights your areas of expertise using keywords that are easily scanned by today’s HR software programs. There are plenty of great resources both online and in print to help you design the perfect resume. And if you get really stuck, think about consulting a professional resume writer. A good one is worth every penny.
And last, but not least, remember that your resume is a great online marketing tool to use on the social network. Resume reviewers are going to the social sites to find you so make sure that what they find is all good. Social sites are fine, but in my humble opinion if you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re at a disadvantage. It’s a great way to network with colleagues, past and present, that help you stay connected. Be sure that your new resume is mirrored by your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn Groups are also a tremendous asset you can use to see what others in your field are doing and how they’re doing it. I can’t say enough good things about LinkedIn. You’ll find me there at this link, and if you’re reading this and we’re not connected, send me an invite as I would love to add you to my list of connections.
There is so much more to say about your resume and how it can help you, but this is at least a start. I hope to share more with you next week. Post your questions and comments to me. I’d love to help!