The warm weather signals time to open the windows, deep-clean the house and enjoy the sunshine. But don't forget to clear the clutter from your resume while you're at it; even if you're not currently looking for a job, keeping your resume fresh and updated is a must. Here, three experts weigh in on what to keep and what to toss.
Use formatting to your advantage
In short, a resume is a one-page overview of your life, says Michelle Joseph, talent acquisition expert and CEO of PeopleFoundry. "However creative you may get with fonts and colors, the content is of the utmost importance; it's essential to put forth the most relevant and accurate information to attract a future employer," Joseph says.
That said, you do want to take advantage of fonts and formatting to help highlight important content, says Caitlin Sampson, CHRP, CPRW, CEIP and Career Consultant with Regal Resumes.
"Companies get a lot of resumes, and you want to stand out as much as possible," Sampson says. "Take advantage of the fact that a reader's eyes go to the first half of the resume first, and that readers are more likely to remember the first and last line of every paragraph," she says.
The objective statement
The general, vague objective statement, long a constant on the traditional resume, is now tired and obsolete, writes Joseph in her blog at PeopleFoundry. While you still need to include a statement of intent, make sure this is customized and specific to the job you're applying for.
"By speaking only in generalities, you're not adding any substance to the resume," Joseph writes. She adds that many of today's job seekers just eliminate the objective statement altogether, but if the resume feels naked without it, a sentence or two explaining why you'll be perfect for the position you're applying for will suffice.
Rona Borre, CEO and president of IT staffing and recruiting firm Instant Technology, says having such a statement at the top of the resume helps focus a reader and is crucial to setting the stage for the rest of the resume.
"From a logistical standpoint, it's really crucial to have that at the top, as long as it's geared to the position that you're applying for," Borre says. "This is your 'elevator pitch' --- the company is your customer and you're selling yourself to the job, so make sure your opening statement is powerful and aimed right at the position," she says.
Contact information and references
Keep personal data and contact information short and sweet. Ensure that you have important contact information such as your name, email, and phone number at the top of the page, but relegate references to a separate page that's only sent if employers specifically ask for it, she adds. "If they want references, they will request them; there is no need for you to waste space saying, 'References available upon request,' either," Joseph writes.
Don't skip the education
You must provide the name of the college or university that you graduated from along with the degree you received, according to Joseph. And for applicants new to the job market, this can be a great way to draw attention to relevant curriculum or projects that could highlight desired skills, even without on-the-job experience, says Instant Technology's Borre.
"Newer folks in the workforce should have a strong educational portion of their resume where they highlight skills, classes, projects, etc. that are relevant to the role they want," Borre says.