Over two years ago, I shared my top resume tips on Zanita Studio…
However, as I went back to update my resume a few weeks ago, I realized it was time for a revamped post. You might wonder why I needed to update my resume if I’m “working for myself” – and it’s basically because as I use it in my pitches to prospective clients. Plus, a freshly updated resume gives me clarity as I evolve in my career.
I’ve always placed a lot of emphasis on my resume because it’s the ONLY thing that someone can judge me by when they have no idea who I am or what I look like. Since I’m now mid-career as many of you might be, I wanted to share the essential resume updates you can benefit from.
– Add an objective summary.
After at least 4 years of professional working experience, an objective no longer makes sense… You should have already developed some level of self-awareness and really understand what your strengths and weaknesses are up to this point. That means dropping the traditional one-liner objective and crafting a witty summary objective that describes who you are, what you’ve done, and what you’re looking to do. Think of this is your elevator pitch… How are you selling yourself?
– Summarize irrelevant experience.
I’ve held so many different jobs – a stock broker, demand planner, assistant merchandise planner, and content manager. What I’m looking to do today is completely unrelated to corporate America, which pretty much means my roles in finance and retail don’t make a lot of sense. I don’t need to highlight my accomplishments there. Instead, I’ll write three quick sentences summarizing my key contributions – and then heavily underscore my success as a content creator for Zanita and my personal blog.
– Highlight major contributions.
I also removed my old-school bullet points because I’m not in college anymore… Remember that at this point, you have so much more to sell and a greater story to tell. Write a snappy snippet on your story in that role and include 2-3 bullet points highlighting your top contributions. Did you increase sales by 25% over last year? Did you successfully launch a brand new email campaign that generated over 75% in click-thrus? Those are the things that need to stand out.
– Two pages is ok.
Mid-career is probably the only time it’s okay to have your resume over one page. Make great use of your first page by playing up the roles that matter and toning down the ones that don’t!
– Drop the college fluff.
Other resume updates to make are discarding the GPAs, fraternities/sororities, clubs, and Dean’s Lists that are no longer relevant… Real hands-on experience will outweigh that college fluff. So, if you weren’t a 4.0 student, you’re in luck 🙂 Results and work ethic is what matters most – both of which will show in your experience.
What resume updates have you made?