Time for Spring Cleaning? Don’t Forget Your Resume!

No one loves the act of spring cleaning, but everyone enjoys the results. Spring is the time to pull back the curtains, open the windows, and blow the dust off everything—including your resume.


Whether you’re currently on the job search path, entering the job market for the first time, considering a career change, or content where you are (for now), it’s probably been a long time since you’ve updated your resume. But no matter where you are in terms of your career, it’s important to keep your resume fresh and relevant. You never know when opportunity will knock.

This spring, give your resume a much-needed cleaning with these tips for polishing this important document to perfection.

Condense and consolidate your experience.

If you’ve held more than one position in the same industry, chances are you’ve performed many of the same job duties for them. Listing each of your skills and accomplishments under every prior position makes your resume longer—which increases the chances that it won’t be read.

Today’s hiring managers are pressed for time and typically won’t dedicate more than a few minutes to initially review a resume. If you have sections full of bullet point after bullet point, they’re going to start skimming.

Instead, use a work-experience section to collect all of your accomplishments, skills, and responsibilities concisely, and then simply list your prior positions with company, title, and dates or number of years of experience.

Keep everything current.

Speaking of work experience: If you’ve got 15 years or more in the field, you’re probably listing too much of your work history on your resume. You don’t have to detail every single position you’ve held since that part-time job in high school.

It’s okay to briefly mention your vast experience, but save the detailed explanations for your most recent positions. Choose the most relevant skills and experiences for the position you’re applying for, and play them up while dimming the spotlight on the rest.

Highlight your stand-out qualities.

In every job, there are certain basic requirements you must have. The problem is that every other candidate must have them, too. While you need to keep the mention of your experience or knowledge of core requirements in your resume (since many companies use applicant-tracking systems to find resumes with the right keywords), these presumed skills shouldn’t be your focus.

Instead, emphasize what makes you different from other candidates. Mention your skills, but showcase the results you’ve achieved during your career, or during your academic years if you’re a recent college graduate. Don’t drown your resume in industry buzzwords—demonstrate your measureable successes with names and numbers.

Get back to the basics.

Once you’ve gone through your resume with a chainsaw, it’s time to get out the sandpaper and smooth all the rough edges you’ve created. Your resume should be clean, readable, and error-free.

One of the best ways to ensure a smooth resume is to actually print it out. Mistakes tend to disappear when you’re reading from a screen, so having a paper copy can help you spot misspellings, screwy formatting, poor grammar, repetitive word choices, and more. Grab a red pen and mark up your resume thoroughly, and then apply the corrections to your electronic version.

Spring cleaning your resume might not sound like an exciting way to spend a few hours, but you’ll feel better when it’s done—so get to it! Contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com to find out more about how we can help you find your next position!

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