Today is the first Monday back to work for many after the holidays. Like the thin film of soap water that once formed a beautiful bubble that abruptly pops in your face, today marks the cold snap back to reality after the magic of the holidays.
For some, the start of a new year causes people to re-evaluate their situation which often means finally doing the work to find their dream job—like me! What’s the first step in the job hunting process? The dreaded resume re-do.
Dreaded because there are few things more frustrating and confusing than deciding what resume advice to follow. There are literally hundreds of thousands of voices telling you what you MUST and MUST NOT do with your resume. Summary or no summary? One page or two pages? Key words or no key words? I’ve even read advice to just throw out the resume altogether! How am I to explain that one when a kind networking contact asks for my resume to share with a Hiring Manager? ‘Uh, I’m sorry. I can’t. I threw mine out—the internet told me so!
Yeah, like that advice is going to help me land my dream job…
Why does it have to be so confusing? How did it get so complex? To be completely honest—I really don’t know why and how, but one thing I can tell you is that once you do make the decision to re-do your resume you’ll have to be decisive with your time and efforts.
Do the research on what are the new resume conventions for your industry or function and your specific career stage (entry-level, mid-career or most seasoned professional). Then push through the sometimes agonizing process of fiddling with the format in Word to make the changes only once to your resume. Finally, put your hands up to your ears and block out all the other resume voices shouting at you.
After all, the resume is a rather small formality in the application process. Though it’s still a necessity, it doesn’t serve as the sole ticket to you landing your dream job.