An annual rite of spring should include a thorough reassessment of your resume. Job seekers, however, might feel time already has slipped away since they are now faced with the urgency of getting resumes into the hands of prospective employers.
Despite that urgency, slow down a moment. Don’t hit the SEND button until your resume effectively reflects who you are and what you want. While there are many excellent templates for resume design and content, here are some points to consider as you tweak your job-winning resume:
- Focus on how your resume looks online since almost nobody will see it on paper.
- Follow the KISS rule–keep it short and simple. If you’re lucky, the average initial review time of a one-page resume is under 20 seconds.
- Summarize successive jobs with a graduating scale of accomplishment-rich support points, beginning with no more than four bullets for the current position, three for the next, and so on. Jobs from more than five years ago should be relegated to one bullet or none if the position title is self explanatory.
- Don’t take creative risks. Your idea of attractive graphics might appear amateurish to others. Plain and simple is the safest bet unless you know the firm wants to see your creative flair. Most don’t.
Other tips on resume content and design have been featured in this blog. When in doubt don’t send your resume to a prospective employer until it is reviewed by a friend, professor or mentor.