Is it time to update my resume?
The quick answer is yes! Whether or not your current job has been affected by the pandemic, now is the time to make sure you have a resume that is ready to be shared. With unemployment in the double digits and the economy reeling, it is critical to be able to put your best foot forward with a great resume.
Many of you may be looking at this time to make a job/career switch. If that's the case, updating your resume to reflect your new goals is essential. Look at your current resume, if you even have one, and consider how your past experiences will be applicable to your new targeted career path or industry sector. Management skills you honed as a manager or consultant in one industry are very likely applicable to other roles and businesses. If you are making a career switch, make sure your resume showcases your skills, experiences, and your motivation for change.
Resume writing is both an art and a science. In order to stand out, it’s imperative that you have a polished, professional-looking resume that is written with both the applicant tracking system (ATS) and the hiring manager in mind. The most successful resumes achieve three critical goals: present a compelling career narrative, create visual balance, and illustrate your value to any organization.
To achieve these goals, follow a few guidelines:
- Develop a concise, meaningful career summary or profile statement to introduce your career narrative. Avoid the pitfall of trying to include everything in the statement - 2 or 3 sentences should suffice.
- Keep your resume to 2 pages if you are an experienced executive and 1 page if you have less than 5 years of experience. Follow a consistent format/style. The most typical resume structure is "Reverse Chronological" but a "Functional/Skill Category" approach for the body of the resume is also acceptable and may be more appropriate if you are making a significant change in your career.
- Use the SAR (situation, action, result) technique to add experience content. These are the bullet points that allow you to show the value that you have brought to your job in the past. Try to include specific, quantitative (or qualitative) results with each SAR statement.
Once you've drafted or updated your resume be sure to share it with a couple of close friends or advisors to get their reactions and input. Make sure your resume is proofed and free of any typos or formatting errors which some hiring reps would use to automatically disqualify you for a position. Now, get going and good luck!
- John Strauss, CRC Board Member