September is Update Your Resume Month, so it’s a great opportunity to catch up your professional data. This year, focus on adding new items and subtracting old.
WHAT TO ADD
Add your LinkedIn URL: First, customize your URL so that it looks more professional, memorable, and is easier for a hiring manager to use. Instructions for customizing appear in the LinkedIn Help Center.
Add mobile accessibility: Add your mobile phone number. Open your resume on your phone and tablet. Ask a friend who uses a different platform to open it on their devices. Modify your document if you answer no to any of these questions:
- Does it open?
- Does it look right?
- Can you see the entire document?
- Can you read it?
Add organic formatting: Organic formatting means the content leads the formatting decisions. When you add formatting to your resume, it should:
- Lead the reader’s eye.
- Emphasize the important parts of the document.
- De-emphasize secondary and tertiary elements.
- Give a sense of your personal brand.
- Be appropriate for your industry.
- Differentiate you from other candidates.
Add links: First, make your email and LinkedIn URLs active. Then, use links to Web sites or videos that illustrate your achievements.
Add a QR code: If you would like to incorporate a visual element, a more technical feel to your resume, or extensive contact information, a QR code may be useful. Instructions for generating and using codes appear here.
Add a recommendation: Who do you believe: The person who tells you how awesome they are or the person who tells you how awesome someone else is? Be sure the recommendation is specific and relevant.
Photos: US companies remain anti-photo because of Equal Opportunity concerns. If you want to be taken seriously and not irritate the HR Department or your potential boss, ditch the photo unless you’re an actor or model.
Objective: An objective states what you want from an employer. A resume states what you offer the employer you hope to work for. Focus on the latter with a headline rather than an objective.
Old information: A resume isn’t a legal document required to list every detail of your work history. This means your job delivering pizzas after school isn’t relevant if you are now Director of Marketing. Employers are most interested in your most recent and most relevant positions.
Irrelevant information: Even if information is recent, it may not be relevant. If you are targeting a VP of Marketing job, the fact that you make ukuleles on the side doesn’t belong on your resume – unless you’re applying with a ukulele band.
Short-term jobs: Employers are less concerned about a gap on your resume than they used to be. If you’ve taken a short-term administrative assistant job to pay the bills during your job search, you don’t have to list it on your resume.
References: Your references do not belong on your resume. Neither does “References available upon request” at the bottom.