Take Your Resume From Retro to Wow!
Jill Klees M.A. '95
Can’t remember the last time you updated your resume? It might be time for a resume overhaul. As the work world changes, so do the “rules” of resume writing. Even if you aren’t looking for a job, having an up-to-date resume is a smart step to prepare for great opportunities.
Six ways to tell if your resume needs an overhaul:
- You are using your SCU student resume and you’ve graduated
- It’s been three or more years since you updated your resume
- “References Available Upon Request” is at the bottom
- The objective statement starts with: “Seeking a challenging position where…”
- Accomplishment statements start with: “Responsible for…”
- Content is written in paragraph form versus bullet points
If you are using a dated resume format and old content, chances are good that you are not representing yourself competitively. That’s not the impression you want to leave with employers.
Follow these tips to take your resume from retro to wow:
- One size does NOT fit all: Tailor your resume to each position you apply for using the same industry verbiage from the job description. Weave this verbiage throughout your statements to show how you are a match.
- Avoid dating yourself: Go back 10-15 years in your work experience and include experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Do not include everything you have done. Keep your content relevant and focused on the job.
- Focus on transferable skills: Use skill words that relate to the position you are seeking and that you want to demonstrate to a potential employer.
- Use accomplishment statements: Start your statements with a variety of action words. Describe WHAT you did, HOW you did it, and, when possible, include the result or outcome. You are telling a story with your statements.
- Make it easy to read: Organize the sections logically. Use a crisp clean font style between 10 -12 points. Avoid distracting symbols, shading, borders, underlining and overuse of italics.
Updating the look and feel of your resume, making a few simple adjustments to the content, and tailoring it for each position can have a big impact on how you represent yourself to recruiters and hiring managers.
Check the SCU Career Center alumni page for more resources, tips, and strategies to managing your career.