Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”
–Russell Baker, American journalist and humorist
Monday marked the official start of the summer and while most of us may be concerned with losing a few extra
pounds around our midsection or toning up our pecks before hitting the
shores this season, this might not be the only shaping up that needs to
This summer, treat your resume like you do your bathing suit bod and you will find much more ease with your job search! You may want to
evaluate your current situation and determine the best strategy to
boost your chances of getting a call back. Depending on where you
stand, you may find yourself bulking up, slimming down or simply just
toning up your resume a bit over the summer:
Need to bulk up: Is your resume looking a little bare? Need to beef it up? If you need to add to your resume, you may
want to consider doing some volunteer work at local charities, alumni
associations, community groups, professional interest groups, etc.
Volunteer work gives you a chance to gain important workplace skills and some extra experience. You can take it a step further by getting
involved on the leadership level of an organization! Consider an
elected or appointed position, the Board of Directors or possibly
acting as a community advocate. Getting involved in higher levels of
volunteer-based organizations will not only show you are self-motivated
but will also let potential employers get to know a little more about
what your passions are. Not to mention that volunteering can also lead
to good job references and loads of networking opportunities.
Another way you can bulk up your resume would be taking additional courses and certifications. They may require a bit of a time commitment
but you’ll be able to attend them at most local community colleges and
educational facilities. Listing additional courses and certifications
on your resume show you have some initiative, something all employers
are looking for in potential employees.
Slim Down: Feel like you’ve got too much weight carried around on your resume? Is it bogging you down? Slimming
down your resume may be just the trick, but it can be hard to do. We’ve
all felt the need to include as much as possible on our resume, but in
fact, you may end up jeopardizing your chances by including too much.
The most important thing you can do on your resume is to have clearly
described your skills and strengths. If you’ve done this and get asked
in for an interview, feel free to go in depth at that time. So make
sure you trim the fat. Avoid long lists of duties for jobs you’ve held
and keep it to the facts that emphasize your accomplishments and
successes. The most important thing you can do to keep a lean, mean
resume is to keep it straight forward and concise.
As a rule of thumb for your resume, try to remember that less can actually be more!
Side note: If you are a more experienced job seeker and need to trim down your resume, a good way to do this (as well as prevent any
possible age discrimination) could be leaving off the year you
graduated from college. You may also leave off older work experience as
Just a little tone up: Some of you may only need a few touch-up revisions to your resume. If this is you, congratulations
on winning half the battle! As you tone up your resume, you’ll want to
make sure to look over your resume for keywords. These keywords will be
crucial in grabbing a hiring manager’s and recruiter’s eye. If you want
to spark up interest, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got keywords
scattered throughout your resume. Take a look at job postings in your
field to determine some of the common keywords that you should include
in your resume. If you find a job you’d like to apply for and the
posting lists certain skills that are required to apply, make sure you
include those on your resume, too (as long as they are valid, of
course). You may also want to consider adding a brief “special skills”
section in addition to employment history. This can be a collection of
the words that best summarize your experience and skills. Lastly, if
you’ve trained and worked with certain computer programs (for ex. Adobe
Photoshop or Microsoft Excel), particularly if it’s unique and/or
relevant to your profession, make sure you detail them as well.
Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself ready to beat the summer heat and feel your best throughout your entire job seeking process!