If you’ve been working for some time, or even if you’ve just started your career, then you know that your career evolves with time. Whether you change jobs, remain at the same company, or start and grow your business, work evolves. If you already have a resume, then you also know that just as your career, it’s a living, breathing thing as well.
I remember stashing my resume for years while at the same job, and only digging it out when I started looking for another job. The result? Hours, sometimes days spent trying to remember what I did in prior or even current positions. I would end up vaguely editing it, and wondering if it even fit the professional I had evolved to be over time. Most of all, I kept wondering if it fit the career or job I really wanted to get.
The truth is, our resumes move with us, as we learn, grow and evolve over time. Failing to adjust our resumes as we evolve in our careers puts us at a disadvantage. To find the career you want, you also have to show up with the right tools. Hence the need to adjust your resume for the career you want.
Here are 7 things you can do to adjust your resume to the career you want:
Start with Action!
One of the biggest turn-offs in resumes is the lack of action in them. Using passive language to describe what you’ve done doesn’t show that you’re strong candidate, for any position. Use action verbs at the start of every bullet point to define the various responsibilities you’ve held. Don’t forget to use varied language as well, to show the scope of your various accomplishments.
Use the power of customization
Don’t just have a standard resume! Consider every opportunity you’re going after, and customize your resume accordingly. This may mean adjusting your job descriptions so they are relevant to the job you’re going after. Or moving some of your experiences higher up as they are more in alignment with the position you’re going after. Making these subtle, yet significant changes, can get you noticed by a potential employer.
Update, update, update
One of my biggest past mistakes was to wait until interview time to update my resume. As a result, I would omit some of my proudest accomplishments, and get frustrated in the process as I wouldn’t remember all the things I had done since the last time I update my resume. Instead of waiting until the last minute, keep a record of all your work-related accomplishments. I have a career journal in which I document my significant career wins, so I can use them when it’s time to update my resume.
List measurable results
Your resume is a great place to show off your career results, in a tangible and measurable way. This means not just listing a series of accomplishments, but actually make them quantifiable. Did you contribute to an award-winning team scoring an 80% growth? Did you increase your department or company’s revenue by 200%? List these quantifiable results to demonstrate how much value you’re able to bring to the position you’re going after.
Believe in yourself
Last but not least, it doesn’t really matter if you have a strong resume but don’t have faith in yourself and your abilities. You have to be able to back up all the accomplishments, skills and talents listed on paper. Even if you don’t have as much experience or skills as you’d like, having the confidence to demonstrate your drive, passion and willingness to drive success in your career will go a long way.
What other tips would you add to this list?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sister.
Author: Solange Lopes
Solange is the founder of The Corporate Sister, as well as an author, entrepreneur and CPA. She’s passionate about helping women do work they love, build fulfilling careers and living life on their own terms.