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Is Your Resume Current?

Many leaders have not updated their resume in years. When we ask candidates for a copy of their resume, we often hear one of two things:  “I’ve never needed a resume” or “You can just use my LinkedIn profile.”   The thought behind never needing a resume is that you are so successful and well known in the industry that your name speaks for itself.  That may be true to a degree. But believe it or not, there are going to be influential players in the industry who may not know you.  Your LI profile is a great tool. It lets others know where you’ve worked and the roles you have had over the course of your career but make no mistake – it is not a resume.  If you want to be taken seriously when you’re up for the next big role, a resume is mission critical.

Achievements such as increased profitability, substantial growth or promotions are all things hiring leaders look for on a resume.  Were you tapped to lead a special project or to sit on a committee? Yes, your job titles need to be on your resume. But your job title tells very little about what you bring to the table and your true value proposition.

How much Detail Should You Include?

Your resume should be visually easy to read; no fancy panels or confusing copy.  And please – do not put your headshot on your resume.  You don’t need to give your entire work history.  It’s generally not relevant to go back more than 12 years.  I have spoken to a few candidates who hesitate to put dates they graduated from college or military service because it indicates their age.  You don’t have to include dates of those items if you’re uncomfortable with it. However, putting the fact that you graduated from college with a degree in Finance, for example, is important.  

Attention to detail is imperative. Ask someone to proof read and look for any typos, misspelling or confusing information.  We work with one client that will not even speak to candidates who have typos in their resume, regardless of the roles they’ve held. It’s perceived as an individual who is not detail oriented.

Keeping your resume updated is a way for you to reflect on how far you’ve come and things you should be proud of. Look at it as an exercise to help you prepare for the next chapter.