Leadership is an action, not a position! Your title does not make you a leader. #WednesdayWisdom
A new year provides new opportunities. This is the perfect time to do a quick and fairly simple update of your resume. Here’s how.
Update contact information
Try removing your full address from your resume. It will save space in your document and it is seemingly unnecessary information. Instead, use the space to provide solid contact information (i.e. phone number and email address) as well as links to professional profiles (i.e. LinkedIn)
Remove objective statement
I don’t know how many times this has to be said, “Remove objective statements from your resume!” 99.5% of the time they add nothing to your story.
Make sure you include relevant skills and experience
Do not fall into the trap of listing everything you have ever done or can do. Focus on the skills and experience that speaks to where you want to go.
Simplify your educational achievements
If you are including information about which high school you attended, stop it immediately. GPA’s and irrelevant certifications need not be included on your resume.
Modernize your formatting
This does not mean that you have to produce a highly stylized document. Style will never trump substance. Your resume must be accessible, skimmable, and of course, able to get past the always dreaded applicant tracking system.
I continue to be gobsmacked that people need to be reminded not to lie on their resumes.
I could go through each of the ten lies mentioned in the article but it all seems so obvious that I will simply say “Do not lie on your resume”. If damaging your reputation and demonstrating a lack of integrity are not valid enough reasons, try this: you will get caught!
We live in an age where everything is “Googleable”. In many ways, we are all public people and have an online profile that we hopefully control. Information about where you went to school, where you worked, and for how long is so easy to obtain it is unreal.
My advice, use your time to build important skills and experience instead of crafting elaborate lies.
Finally the ultimate no-no. If there was ever a career habit to break, it is this one.
5. Seeking jobs instead of building a career path
Kudos to you for firing off resumes one right after another. Have you stopped to think about what it is you actually want to do?
I know; you want to earn a check so that you can eat. Got it, please know that I do not think that it is a bad goal.
With all due respect to eating, however, be strategic about the positions you are applying for. Are they in your field of choice? Will they help you build a skill set that will serve you in the long run? Will the position help you make connections that will assist you in moving to the next level? Do you have a career path in mind or are you diving in head first and deciding to think about it later? Please don’t let the answer to that question be “yes”.
Think about this way, you typically decide where you are trying to go before you start your car. My car will not even allow me to set my navigation system when the car is in motion.
If my car is smart enough to know that there should be a plan for how we are getting to our destination before we take off, shouldn’t you be that smart? I know you are as savvy as my Hyundai.
Do some goal setting and develop at least a one to two-year plan and make sure that the positions you are applying for support your goals.
This is not a habit you need to break because it is out of date or simply annoying; proceeding with an unfocused job search is a waste of time. Successfully getting hired for a series of jobs does not build a career path.
Remember telephone books? When was the last time you used one? Today we all Google what we need and companies that can not easily be found in these search results typically don’t get as much patronage.
The same principle applies to you. It is important to have an appropriate, online presence.
4. Having no professional, digital presence
I reconnected with a former co-worker a couple of weeks ago and he said that he was not on Facebook. I immediately thought he was lying and probably trying to hide something.
I know that there really are people who don’t use social media but it’s weird. Many employers search for applicants online and having no digital presence can be just as harmful as having inappropriate search results.
Just to clarify, I am encouraging you to develop a professional digital presence. There are some simple ways to start:
- Sign up for LinkedIn
- Update the LinkedIn account you signed up for years ago
- Start a blog about issues pertaining to your area of expertise
Taking one of these suggestions provides another method of defining yourself as a professional. You can discuss accomplishments, demonstrate knowledge, and of course grow your network online.