Spring Cleaning Your Resume

Whether you live in a cold climate or experience warm weather all year long, spring is the time of year to clean out the old and welcome in the new!  As you are freshening up your wardrobe, clean out closets, or reviving your home for spring, don’t forget to also set aside time to “spring clean” your resume!  Here are five ways to make your resume shine through the summer and fall:

  1. Check Your Resume Format:  It may have been some time since you last updated your resume.  Ask yourself, “Am I using a current resume format?”  For example, resumes today should include a tailored Summary section that highlights your greatest academic and professional skills related to the job, versus a general Objective statement stating what you are seeking.   Visit the Resumes & More tab or review resume templates in OptimalResume for additional resume formatting tips.

  2. Update Your Professional Experience:  Reflect on the changes that occurred this year in your professional life.  Did you end a position, start a new position, or assume additional responsibilities in your current role?  Update your professional experience with current employment dates and new skills and accomplishments.  For tips on enhancing your accomplishment statements, refer to the “Marketing Yourself” button on the Resumes & More tab and review this list of action verbs.  Finally, if your prior positions go back more than 10-15 years and are no longer relevant, we recommend removing them. 

  3. List Credentials and Training:  As a busy Walden student or graduate, you are committed to lifelong learning.  What new degrees, certifications, certificates, or training did you recently complete related to your career field?  Make sure to update your credentials and professional development activities to give yourself credit for your hard work.  If your career or job target has changed and you notice that some professional activities are no longer relevant, consider deleting them from your resume.

  4. Add New Activities and Achievements:  Whether you are working toward career advancement, leading initiatives in organizations, or impacting communities, consider including your new achievements on your resume.  For example, if you earned an award, took on a new volunteer role, delivered a professional presentation or webinar, or joined a student organization, take the time to list these activities and achievements.

  5. Highlight New Skills: Finally, don’t forget to update your resume with new skills, especially in your Summary section. Due to changes in the workplace, many of us have had to master Zoom meetings, collaborate remotely, and manage rapid organizational change.  Your experience at Walden has also given you many specialized skills, including experience with Blackboard, strong writing skills (e.g. APA formatting), library and internet research skills, and many others.

Just like anything you do to care for yourself, make resume cleaning a part of your yearly routine.  This way, your resume will be ready to share when someone asks to see it, or when you come across the perfect job and need to apply right away.  Need more help with effective resume writing?  Check out the Resumes & More tab and review 400+ OptimalResume templates for ideas.

Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services