Spring Cleaning Your Resume
by Nick Stewart
It’s official! The cold has finally left us and spring is here. It’s a time for rebirth and renewal with flowers blooming, leaves growing on trees, and grass changing back to its lush, green color. Many of us, myself included, use this season as an excuse to complete the dreaded task of cleaning. It’s a time to reorganize closets and cluttered cabinets, a chance to scrub kitchens and bathrooms, dust furniture, wash cars, and finally stop neglecting that carpet cleaning our homes desperately need.
This season, however, I want to issue you all a challenge. Instead of focusing your “spring cleaning” efforts solely on your homes and cars, apply the idea to your resumes, and cleaning them up to make them the most attractive to recruiters, and more importantly, to potential employers.
So how do you do that? Here are some tips to help you “clean up” your resume and ensure you’re in the best position to get that job you really want.
1.) Use correct spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.
This one should be very obvious, but is something I see with alarming regularity when looking at resumes. This is the most basic fix you can make to clean up your resume. Many hold that belief that hiring managers do not care about minor mistakes like this when looking at technical resumes, but on dozens of occasions throughout my career, I’ve had hiring managers say no to a candidate because they noticed a couple of spelling errors on their resumes or portfolios. To many that might sound crazy, but in an industry like Engineering, where details are often important, what do spelling and grammar errors on the document intended to secure a job say about a candidate?
2.) UPDATE IT!
This is another important one that many people neglect to do. Your resume is a fluid document that should change fairly often. Take the time to add any additional awards you earned, any additional education or training you may have received, any additional or new experience you may have gained at your current job, and most importantly, add your most recent position. Hiring managers want to see all of this and will ask questions about all of it, so make the information readily available.
3.) Add detail.
By adding detail, I mean talking about the responsibilities of your job more in-depth. Many candidates have very simplified explanations and bullet points that really do not explain much about the responsibilities of their position and the experience they have. A recruiter and hiring manager should be able to look at your resume and have a reasonable idea of your skillset. It’s not necessary to write paragraph after paragraph, but including more in-depth details about your experience will most certainly get you more callbacks and interviews.
4.) Check your formatting.
Formatting is a recruiter’s nightmare. Whether it be layout issues or fonts and bullet points that just do not look right, the visual appeal of your resume is almost as important as the content of your resume. From a recruiter’s perspective, a simple and streamlined resume that easy to work with, or ideally, requires minimal work, is best.
I promise, applying these 4 tips to your resume spring cleaning efforts will get you more callbacks from interested hiring managers, more interviews, and ultimately more jobs to help you have a lucrative and robust career.