Spring cleaning and updating your resume: two ideas that probably invoke feelings of dread. While the tasks are comparable in enjoyment to waiting at the DMV or visiting the dentist, they are nonetheless equally important. So, what are some ways we can clean the cobwebs out of your old, dusty resume and help you spring into that new job?
Put It in the Basement
Many of us are extremely proud of our scholastic accomplishments. Degrees are extremely important. In fact, most positions you come across have specific requirements linked to the level you have earned. However, the further removed you are from receiving your degree, the less prominently it should be placed on your resume. Like an old bowling trophy, it may be better placed out of the way than front and center. While still integral information, consider switching its placement from the top of your resume to one of the last few sections. The experience you’ve accumulated is far more important and will speak volumes. Your degree(s) will still be there further down to back those accomplishments up.
Shine Things Up
One of the first sections that typically appear on a resume is the ever specific, Objective. This could be what you hope to accomplish in your career or what you want out of a new position. Surprisingly for many job seekers, this is not a one-size-fits-all option. Your objective should be tailored to the role you're applying for. If your background is focused around your job as a project engineer and you really want to move into designing, you should modify this section to reflect that. You may even have one resume that leans towards what you’ve done and trying to advance in similar roles and a different resume, focusing on your desire to further capitalize on your passion for designing parts or new products for a design engineer job posting. At minimum, you should have a variety of resumes for different positions that would potentially be good fits. If you have the time and can get more specific when applying for a new job, then certainly take advantage of creating a clear objective that you would have by obtaining the specific role. Specificity can also help other areas of your resume.
Prior positions are also an area that many individuals don’t take full advantage of on their resumes. Think about all the wonderful things you’ve done in past roles. While you don’t need to chronicle everything you did, try and hit the highlights hard. Briefly explain what the role composed of and then brag about yourself. Did you reduce scrap by over 30%? Regularly complete projects ahead of anticipated projections? Create any processes that were integral to your company? Whatever you may have done, give yourself a quick shout-out.
Don’t Hoard the Past
The last bit of tidying you can do for your resume is to declutter your history. Are you applying for an engineering job, but were a Sandwich Artist eight years ago? Your prospective employer probably doesn’t care to see that. Keep your history relevant to your position. However, if you are just out of school and don’t have that much of a job history, you most likely will put a few things that are not super relevant just to show off that you have held positions. In that instance, it may be required to list non-industry roles. For the 10+ year industry veteran, you should feel inclined to leave those types of positions out.
For the more seasoned applicants, if your resume is getting to the point where it starts looking like a novel, you may have to prune off some of the older sections. While your industry start as an engineering intern in 1982 is relevant, your work history from the past 10 to 15 years or so will most likely suffice.
Sweeping It All Up
Just remember, your resume is going to be the first piece of information a potential employer has on you. Your attention to the details of your life and work history will go a long way into how your new employer begins to visualize you as an individual and potential employee. Even if you take the time to do one or two of the suggestions in this blog, you’ll have taken a big step into getting into that next job.
Feeling overwhelmed by needing to do a bunch of changes? Questioning what is and is not relevant for yourself? You aren’t alone in navigating the engineering, design and manufacturing landscape. The recruiters at TriMech Staffing have industry specific experience and are always happy to help. If you need help, are starting your own search, or even looking for talent, reach out to us any time!
Ready to give your new, cleaned up resume a spin and start applying for jobs? Check out the openings we have!