10 quick resume fixes | ask.fedweek.com

Most of us are looking for quick and easy things to improve our resumes without a lot of work or time. Here are 10 things you can do; all totaled, these should take less than 30 minutes:

  1. Is your education listed first? If so, move it to the end unless you have no work experience. Most employers value your work experience more than your education. EXCEPTION: if you are an academic and presenting a formal CV.
  2. Are there tables embedded in your resume? If so, remove them.
  3. Does your resume go back more than 10 years or so? If so, eliminate your earlier work experience; employers want to know what you have done lately.
  4. Do the dates and jobs on your resume match the dates and jobs on your LinkedIn Profile? If not, make them match.
  5. Does your resume include a Hobbies section? A Personal section? Something similar? Delete them; everything on your resume should be focused on your target job.
  6. Does your resume include references? Or the statement, “references available upon request”? If so, delete this; all employers know that you will provide references if asked.
  7. Do you still have your college graduation date? And it was more than 10 years ago? Delete it.
  8. Is your private sector resume more than 2 pages? It shouldn’t be. Likewise, if your federal resume is ONLY 2 pages, more content is needed. A typical federal resume is 4-6 pages.
  9. Do you have an objective statement? If so, get rid of it; your objective is to get the job! Which is implied by applying for it.
  10. Does your resume have typos or grammatical errors? Not sure? Ask someone else to read it and fix them.

BONUS: Does your resume contain key words for the positions you’re targeting? If not, add them. It’s not about knowing that you can do the job but proving that you already have!

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.