Does your resume need a refresh? Do you keep pushing “update resume” to the end of your “to-do” list (or maybe it’s not even on the list.)? As most Walden students, you are probably juggling commitments to family, friends, work, and community service with the responsibilities and deadlines of university coursework and research, so how do you find the time? Well, we have an extra day this month! February 29th is the perfect day to set aside time to open your resume, reflect on your career goals, and make updates so your resume is ready for your next career opportunity.
Here are steps to help you get started:
- Take a look at sample resumes in the OptimalResume system on the Career Services website. The samples will help you generate ideas on how to strengthen your resume, and you can use one of the samples as a template if you want; just create a free OptimalResume account to use a sample as a template.
- Visit the Career Services’ 15 Minute Tutorials to view the video Marketing Your Qualifications through Resumes and Cover Letters. This video will walk you through the steps to tailor your resume for your job target(s). Yes, this is what you should be doing if you are in a job search. Remember, your resume should be marketing you for the next step in your career.
- Explore advice for strengthening your resume on the Resumes and More tab on the Career Services website. The “Resume Outline” information will walk you through tips for each section, including your header, summary, education, experience, and additional sections.
Here are additional tips to consider:
- Avoid the generic, one-size-fits-all approach. Use clear and concise language with examples and keywords related to your profession and your job target. Potential employers often use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to automatically scan your document to determine if you are a good fit for their open position. A generic resume is not likely to get through the ATS into the hands of an actual human for review. You are unique. Let your strengths, experience, and education shine through.
- Focus on formatting and content; both are important. Your document should look polished and professional and provide details of your qualifications and accomplishments. Use consistent formatting throughout your document. Keep your resume to 2-3 pages at the most.
Use your extra day this month (or really, any day) to prepare for your next career opportunity!
Written by Walden Senior Career Advisor, Denise Pranke