It’s nearly Christmas. Needless to say, you may be thinking of using this valuable family time to update your resume. In the event that you are, we’ve asked some resume writing professionals to provide a few very quick tips to prevent any terrible mistakes.
This is what they suggest:
1. Don’t be a perfectionist
“You’re trying to secure interviews and meetings, not win a prize for the best resume in the land. So focus on being successful, not perfect,” says career consultant Sital Ruparelia. Focus on making your resume "good enough," he advises. Also, don’t radically change your resume based on one person’s feedback. Opinions vary. But if three people give you the same feedback, they might have a point.
2. Eliminate waffle
“The only words that should be in your resume are the words that you need to convince someone you can do the job on offer,” says Graham Langridge at Perfect CVs.
3. Focus on commercial value and results
“Many job seekers in the current market will have to shift into different parts of the market or different sectors. In this case, the commercial results and transferable skills become even more important,” says Ruparelia.
4. Think about precisely what you can offer and your own personal career narrative
In the current market, Langridge says you won’t get a job unless you can prove exactly what your hiring value is to an organization and exactly how a role fits with your career path. As it’s Christmas, you may not be actually applying for any roles, but you can certainly think about your value and try to concoct a coherent career path which suggests why you’re particularly suited to jobs of the kind you anticipate applying to come January.
5. Don’t bother developing a generic resume to send to any and every job, but put in the groundwork which will enable you to tailor resumes in the New Year
In 2012, there will also be no point in firing out a lot of generic resumes to a lot of jobs, says Langridge. Every resume will need to be tailored to the job in question.
“A resume is a pitch document,” agrees Philip Beddows, coach and mentor at the Silk Road Partnership. “This means you need to pitch it for each job.”
Christmas is the perfect time to assemble a list of facts and figures about achievements in previous roles which you drop into tailored resumes in the New Year.
“Think about who you are and what you are. What’s your elevator pitch and your relevance to the marketplace in the year ahead,” says Beddows. “How are you going to make a difference?”
Alternatively, you can always spend the Christmas period relaxing. Your resume can (probably) wait.