In support of Career Directors International’s “Update Your Resume Month” Campaign (#uyrm on Twitter), I recommend dusting off and revisiting your old resume this month, whether or not you’re in job search – especially if it’s been more than a couple of years since you last worked on it.
If you need to update your resume to reflect career advances – new jobs, responsibilities, achievements, contributions, etc. – chances are it’s time to revamp the look and content of the entire document as well.
It’s time for an overhaul if:
1. Your resume is a dinosaur that looks like it came out of a resume book written in the 90’s. It dates you and does little or nothing to market your ROI value.
2. Your resume isn’t designed to target specific employers – aligning your qualifications, qualities and areas of expertise with what they’re looking for in candidates – so it won’t resonate with anyone and pre-qualify you as a potential good hiring investment.
3. Your resume isn’t branded to differentiate you from everyone else competing for the same jobs.
4. Your resume doesn’t capture attention within 10-15 seconds, with a keyword-rich, value-driven executive brand profile at the top.
5. Your resume doesn’t showcase and back up your leadership qualities – strategic planning, operations management, team building, financial accountability, etc. – positioning you as a subject matter expert and the “go to” person in your niche.
6. Your resume doesn’t reflect your personality and generate chemistry for who you are, what you’re like to work with, how you make things happen, and what you have to offer that no one else does.
7. Your resume fails to “tell your story“, by utilizing the C-A-Rs (Challenge – Actions – Results) or S-T-A-Rs (Situation – Tasks – Actions – Results) method to connect those assessing you to your unique promise of value.
8. Your resume is bloated with generic, boring “resume-speak” and passive verbs and phrases (“responsible for”) instead of precise, differentiating language and robust verbs (accelerate, optimize, monetize, pioneer, revitalize, transform, etc.).
9. Your resume is bogged down with repetitive job descriptions instead of achievements and contributions that reinforce your ROI value.
10. Your resume is densely packed with long blocks of information and lacks enough white space to make it easy on the eye. Short-form, precision writing is needed to accommodate the Blackberry effect – more and more recruiters and hiring authorities today review career documents on their tiny PDA’s.