Resume Funeral: What Career Pasts Do You Need To Bury?

BY IN Career advice/tips On 03-02-2012

Okay, okay…I admit that my blog title sounds a bit dramatic, but if it caught your attention then it worked. As you can imagine, the beginning of the year has been busy for me – I am being contacted by many executives who have decided that 2012 is the year of no excuses and time to confidently move forward in their career.

I applaud them on their efforts and I am working hard to help them meet their goals…however, like anything else in life, in order to move forward swiftly and effectively, you need “light” weights.

In the past two weeks, I have seen some executive resumes that have as many pages as their owners have years of experience. I understand the need or even desire to make sure that you have captured every aspect of career, but at some point you have to say “goodbye”, “so long” and “final farewell” to aspects of your career. Those experiences were instrumental in making you who you are today, but it’s time to let go!

So what stays and what gets buried? Let’s try these simple exercises, take a close look at your current resume and decide…

— Is it weighed down with outdated industry jargon, irrelevant job content and pages and pages of task-driven statements? It is critical to carefully de-emphasize (not lie or embellish) non-related job tasks and responsibilities; this strategy can make a big difference between a vague and a target-focused resume.

— Is your professional resume written like a strategic marketing document? All this simply means is that you write for the future and keep your target audience’s (employers) needs in mind. Make sure that every word, sentence, phrase, and statement on your resume supports your candidacy for your ideal positions.

— Is your resume targeted and tailored to match your career goals? Let your final career/job destination serve as a guide for your content inclusion decisions. Determine who you want to be (director of marketing, senior accountant, public relations manager) and how you want to be perceived (rainmaker, technology guru, finance wizard).

— Is your resume stating the obvious? Once you have advanced in your career, there are certain expertise/skill sets that employers/recruiters will assume you have – for example, if you have been a CPA for the past ten years, it is not necessary to list “strong analytical skills” or “very knowledgeable of the GAAP rules” on your resume.


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