Resume Refresh: 8 Things to Consider
By Erika Osmundson, AgCareers.com
Wouldn't it be great to create a resume that would work for eternity? In your dreams! To be effective resumes need to be regularly refreshed, updated, and tailored. The initial crafting of a resume is such an art and can be quite daunting. That is likely why the task of a resume refresh can seem intimidating as well! Focus on these simple eight resume refresh tips to alleviate some of the angst.
- Contact Information – This may seem simple, but can easily be overlooked. Consider new phone numbers, addresses and such, but also social media platforms that you'd like to share. Remember only share those social media platforms where you maintain a professional persona.
- Objective Statement/Talent Profile – One of the most subjective parts of a resume! If you've included either of these or something similar, this is a great place to tailor your resume to the role you are applying for. If the resume is to be used for more generic purposes, such as at a career fair or in an online resume database, this is still an excellent place to distinguish your interests if you have multiple areas of interest. For example, you might have an objective statement that is focused on marketing, but then another resume with an objective statement geared toward public relations.
- Keywords – In the times of applicant tracking systems and other electronic screening mechanism, it is crucial to customize your resume for jobs that you are applying to by incorporating keywords into your resume. What are these keywords? Words that are of importance within the job description. For tips on keywords, read the article 'Don't Let Your Resume Hit a Digital Dead-End' featured in the recent AgCareers.com Ag & Food Career Guide.
- Work Experience – Obviously, this is what most people think of when refreshing their resume, and it is key! Clearly if you’ve changed organizations that should be noted, but also keep in mind any new titles you’ve received within the same organization and document those along with their timing.
- Achievements – Hopefully you know that rather than listing a job description under your work experience, you should be focused on your achievements in those roles. The hiring manager wants to know what you've accomplished, not just what you’ve done. My guess is you are experiencing achievements fairly regularly! Keep a simple achievement journal or use past performance review notes to help you keep track of some bullet points that could be included in your resume refresh.
- Clubs/Organizations/Activities – If you've included this section, it is another area within your resume that can be tailored to fit the role you are applying for.
- The Look – You’ll note in the article 'Don't Let Your Resume Hit a Digital Dead-End' they suggest taking out fancy formatting and design. For digital purposes, it is very important to keep things simple. However, it is fine to have a nicely formatted resume for your hard-copy version. There are even some roles where showing your creativity and flare can be an asset (for example, design/agency roles).
- Saving the File – Make things easy for the hiring manager. When you apply to a role, save your resume with your name and title of the job you are applying to. This helps the employer easily recognize your resume!
So, why stop at eight? Here are three bonus tips for consideration as you update your resume. Refresh your resume often. Even more than just once a year is recommended.
As you add to your resume, you'll need to edit out the less relevant content. Focus on past work experience that doesn't pertain, being careful not to edit out sequences of dates. We don't want any gaping holes in your experience that would cause a red flag for the employer. Rather, leave work experience, but shorten the examples of accomplishments/responsibilities under the older experiences.
Be sure to refresh resumes you've uploaded to online databases. Adding a simple line of text or some spacing is enough in many instances to bump your resume back up to the top of list, making your resume easier to find by an employer! Hint — Post your resume in the AgCareers.com Resume Database and let our great agribusiness employers find you!
Refreshing your resume is just as important as writing a great resume from the get-go. Take the time and use these few tips to help your resume continue to work for you and start you on the road to that next job!
This article was first published in the AgCareers.com Career Cultivation blog. Check out the blog for more employment advice for your career in agriculture!