A resume may not be who you are, but to a potential employer, it may be all they see of you and make or break your chance for your next interview. While many of us either spend long hours crafting the perfect resume (or pay someone else big bucks to do it for you) and may not want to mess with perfection, not updating your resume may cause more harm than good.
If you are currently in the job market, evaluate your resume, and whether it's been six months or six years since you dusted it off, chances are you've acquired a new skill, shown leadership in an organization, or somehow improved since you last met with your resume.
Add in anything new that will aid you in your job search, and as much as it hurts, delete anything that is outdated or is no longer applicable or important for the types of positions you are applying for.
Some experts suggest, in fact having more of a bare bones resume that you tailor, along with your cover letter, to the individual position and company you are applying for.
Universal resume advice includes being clear and concise, use verbs (power and action words) to describe you and your achievements or job responsibilities, and work from the vantage point of the company -- what you'll bring onboard to them.
Another common problem with resumes is that they are not prioritized -- drawing attention to the most important or relevant skills and job titles first. The person going through dozens of resume sis more likely to have his or her attention drawn to one that immediately illustrates the skills for the position.
By crafting a strong resume and updating it frequently, you'll be more than ready when an opportunity arises.
Amy Finley is a freelance journalist for Pulse Media International. To learn more about crafting the perfect resume, read her article on the Sample Resume Objective.
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