Summer is around the corner and while most of us may be concerned with losing a few extra inches around our midsection or toning up our biceps before hitting the beach shores this season, this might not be the only shaping up that needs to happen!
This summer, treat your resume like you do your bathing suit bod and you will find much more ease with your job search. You may want to evaluate your current situation and determine the best strategy to boost your chances of getting a job offer. Depending on where you stand, you may find yourself in need to bulk up, slim down or simply just tone up your resume a bit over the summer:
Need to bulk up: Is your resume looking a little bare? Need to beef it up? If you need to add to your resume, you may want to consider doing some volunteer work at local charities, alumni associations, community groups, professional interest groups, etc.
Volunteer work gives you a chance to gain important workplace skills and some extra experience. You can take it a step further by getting involved on the leadership level of an organization! Consider an elected or appointed position, the Board of Directors or possibly acting as a community advocate. Getting involved in higher levels of volunteer-based organizations will not only show you are self-motivated but will also let potential employers get to know a little more about what your passions are. Not to mention that volunteering can also lead to good job references and loads of networking opportunities. Another way you can bulk up your resume would be taking additional courses and certifications. They may require a bit of a time commitment but you’ll be able to attend them at most local community colleges and educational facilities. Listing additional courses and certifications on your resume show you have some initiative, something all employers are looking for in potential employees.
Slim Down: Feel like you have got too much weight carried around on your resume? Is it bogging you down? Slimming down your resume may be just the trick, but it can be hard to do. We’ve all felt the need to include as much as possible on our resume, but in fact, you may end up jeopardizing your chances by including too much. The most important thing you can do on your resume is to have clearly described your skills and strengths. If you’ve done this and get asked in for an interview, feel free to go in depth at that time. So make sure you trim the fat. Avoid long lists of duties for jobs you’ve held and keep it to the facts that emphasize your accomplishments and successes. The most important thing you can do to keep a lean, mean resume is to keep it straight forward and concise. As a rule of thumb for your resume, try to remember that less can actually be more!
Side note: If you are a more experienced job seeker and need to trim down your resume, a good way to do this (as well as prevent any possible age discrimination) could be leaving off the year you graduated from college. You may also leave off older, more junior-level work experience as well.
Just a little tone up: Some of you may only need a few touch-up revisions to your resume. If this is you, congratulations on winning half the battle! As you tone up your resume, you’ll want to make sure to look over your resume for keywords. These keywords will be crucial in grabbing a hiring manager’s and recruiter’s eye. If you want to spark up interest, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got keywords scattered throughout your resume. Take a look at job postings in your field to determine some of the common keywords that you should include in your resume. If you find a job you’d like to apply for and the posting lists certain skills that are required to apply, make sure you include those on your resume, too (as long as they are valid, of course). You may also want to consider adding a brief “special skills” section in addition to employment history. This can be a collection of the words that best summarize your experience and skills. Lastly, if you’ve trained and worked with certain computer programs (for ex. Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Excel), particularly if it’s unique and/or relevant to your profession, make sure you detail them as well.
Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself ready to beat the summer heat and feel your best throughout your entire job seeking process!