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Spring Cleaning: Resume Edition

We take the time to "spring clean" our houses and our wardrobe (I'm always looking for a new excuse to shop), but do we give the same attention to our resumes? For most people, probably not.

It's a good habit to revisit your resume from time to time. Here are some quick tips to spruce up your resume.

1. Make sure your contact information is current

This is an easy one. Your name and contact information are probably the first things seen on your resume. Have you changed your email or telephone number? Moved to another location? Make sure this information is up-to-date. If you've created a LinkedIn page since the last time you touched your resume, add your LinkedIn URL.

2. Remove old information...

Sometimes we outgrow our resumes, and it's okay to remove information that is no longer relevant. If you've graduated college, it's okay to remove high school education. Jobs more than 10-15 years old can usually be removed, especially if they aren't relevant to your current career goals (ex: your first retail job when you're looking for a senior marketing position).

3. ... To add new information

Cleaning up the old information leaves you more room to add new information. Even if your position hasn't changed, you may have gotten new responsibilities or made significant contributions at your current job. Add that to your resume, along with any new certifications and skills.

4. Jazz it up

Resumes have gotten some style in the past couple of years. Bland, basic resumes are almost a thing of the past. Give your resume some charm and personality by using a new layout, a fun font for your name, or even adding some color. But use design elements sparingly. The resume design should not distract the reader from the most important part: learning about why you're a good candidate.

5. Typo check!

I reviewed one of my old resumes and found a typo! This version was a few years old, but I'm still mortified. How many employers noticed this? Did it cause me to miss out on an opportunity? Granted, I probably care way more about writing mistakes than the average person (you'd hope, right?), but it still doesn't leave the best impression. Review your resume after updates to make sure you haven't missed old errors or introduced new ones.

Give your updated resume a new name (by date is usually easiest) just in case you need to reference the previous version.


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