Revitalizing Your Resume

Does your undergrad resume adequately tell your current story?  If you have been in the workforce for a few years, it may be time to re-examine your resume.  Even if you are not currently looking for a new job, preparation is key when safe-guarding against unanticipated changes or preparing for future opportunities.  Revitalizing your resume ensures that it effectively communicates your current story.

Your resume should contain relevant skills and accomplishments that are tailored to your updated career goals.  Consider the following questions:

TIME

  • How many years of experience does your resume cover?   Representing the most recent 10 – 15 years of your experience is sufficient unless something prior to that time directly relates to current career goals.
  • Are your activities and awards older than 5 years?   Outdated activities may communicate that you haven’t done much since college.  Replace them with new volunteer activities, leadership positions, and professional memberships.

FORMAT

  • Are you having trouble keeping your experience to one page?   One page resumes are ideal in communicating information, but don’t sacrifice important details or make your resume hard to read.  If you need a second page, make sure your critical information is listed in the top third of your first page.  The second page will support how you got started but not be essential in evaluating current capabilities.
  • How many details are listed in your older positions?   As you add new positions, details about your older positions should be condensed.  Avoid repeating basic skills and focus on advanced and new ones.

CONTENT

  • Do you have a Professional Profile at the beginning of your resume?   Don’t bury your Skills section at the end of your resume.  Instead, create a Professional Profile that highlights your type and level of expertise, skills, and abilities.  This important marketing section should be featured at the very beginning of your resume.
  • Where do you represent your Education?   Now that you have acquired some work experience, you may want to list your Education after Experience.  Education is still important, but employers usually want to know what you have done in the work world first and then check for credentials.
  • How do you represent your Experience?   This section should not be a repeat of your job description.  Focus on your accomplishments, quantify them with numerical information, and make them results-oriented.  It is also important to align your transferable skills with your new career goal.  Your resume should reflect desired skills sets of your target employer(s).

Effectively Communicate Your Story

Your resume is a dynamic document that needs tailoring to effectively communicate your story.  If you need help revitalizing your resume, contact the Office of Alumni and Career Services.  Our office offers Career Services for life for Richmond Alumni.  Contact (804) 289-8547 for more information.

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