In with the New: Spring Cleaning Your Resume
Out with the Old, In with the New
Birds are chirping, trees are budding and the sun is shining. I've cracked open the windows. Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. Along with this new season, perhaps you've got a renewed energy to declutter or organize your home and life.
I'm here to encourage you to channel that spring fever into decluttering your resume. I don't blame you if that wasn't at the top of your warm-weather to-do list. But whether you're looking for a new career, a promotion, or using it as a a tool for goal-setting, having an updated résumé is an essential part of your career journey. You don't have to start from scratch, but sometimes doing so—i.e. finding or building a new resume template—can help you decide what to keep and what to throw out of your resume. It can be satisfying to tear up that old resume and start fresh. It's an opportunity to reset and refine how you present yourself in the job market. As the economy is forecasted to continue growing over 2021, it's a perfect time to get prepared to apply.
First (or Last) Impression of YOU
A good resume showcases your career and abilities, quickly and cleanly. Resumes are often a recruiter or hiring manager's first (or last) impression of YOU. So it's absolutely critical that your resume is accurate, down to the last detail. And when you consider that recruiters or hiring managers might receive dozens and dozens of resumes for just one job, you'll want your first impression to be the best it can be. That means time spent updating content, researching best practices (like reading this blog!) and seeking the advice of experienced colleagues. But don't let the number of other applicants get you down—focus on effectively presenting what you do best.
One expert on this subject is Ema Adams, the resourcing support specialist on our Creatis Staffing team. Ema understands the fundamental importance of preparing your resume for specific roles, including the creative and marketing industry of which Creatis is apart. She works with many candidates daily and has likely seen thousands of resumes over her career. Ema says, "Especially when it comes to creative positions, I tell [candidates] that your resume is what will secure you the interview, it's your portfolio that's going to secure you the position. So while it's important to have a creative and eye catching resume, what's more important is that you're illustrating you can do the work of the job you're applying to."
I tell [candidates] that your resume is what will secure you the interview, it's your portfolio that's going to secure you the position. — Ema Adams, Creatis Resourcing Support Specialist
Ema also notes that one of the biggest benefits of working with a recruiter or Staffing agency — specifically Creatis — is that we know what skillset or experience a hiring manager is looking for and we're able to draw that out of a candidate's resume and highlight those skills during the submittal process. We act as an advocate for YOU, the applicant. It's also in our best interest that your resume is the best possible match for an open position with our clients.
Resume Writing Tips
Here are some of Ema's expert tips you can use to improve your resume and stand-out from the crowd.
- The BOLDEST isn't always the BEST—Your resume design can be eye-catching, but try not to overdo it on the experimentation. If you're a creative, let your portfolio do most of the colorful work. Your resume must first and foremost to be cleanly formatted and easy to read.
- Hard Skills and Technology to the TOP—List relevant software and hard skills (i.e. Adobe Creative Suite, AP Style, HTML, WordPress, Microsoft Excel) at or near the top of your resume, in their own section. This section alone can be the difference between landing an interview and being rejected. Hiring managers often will scan through a candidate's hard skills first to make sure they match the job requirements.
- DON'T List Every Job You've Had—You may have been an incredible bartender or dog trainer, but ask yourself: Is listing this job relevant for the position I want? If not, cut it out of your resume. Always pick the most relevant and recent roles.
- Accomplishments + Responsibilities—When describing the responsibilities you had in previous jobs, try to bring your accomplishments to the surface in the bullet points. Did you grow a social media account following? Successfully deliver a unique creative marketing project? A good description of your work has a little of both.
- ONE is Better than Two—Keep your resume to one page in a PDF or Word Document format. I know it's not an easy task, and will require editing, but it'll be easier on hiring managers' eyes.
- When in Doubt, Copy the Job Description—If you're uncertain about what to cut or include in your resume, refer to a specific job description for the job you want or are applying for. Pick out key words and phrases and pepper those into your resume. This will help catch the eye of the hiring manger as well.
You can also apply here: Work at Creatis