Career Advice

3 Ways to Clean Up Your Resume

Man reading resumeIn Jessica Ann Media’s recent article, “How to Avoid Kitsch in Your Content,” one of the ways she defined the word,” kitsch,” was “content that lacks context.” She also continued by describing how “content (can become) clutter,” an untidy mess if not curated properly.

In your career, creating a resume is akin to content creation. You must undergo a process of sorting through vast amounts of content from the Web of your career, and then present it in a meaningful, organized and impactful way.

Based on the article’s apt description, the following tips will help to ensure your resume is cleansed of all kitsch. Displayed below are examples of the before (kitschy resume content) followed by their after, cleaned-up, more meaningful counterparts.

1. Headline. A good resume headline should not only clarify the type of role you will fill in a robust, sharp manner, but it should also speak to the bottom-line needs of your organization. Headlines can—and often should be—stacked, layered with the right, targeted words and phrasing.

Before (Kitschy):

Data Analysis Professional Seeking Advancement Within a Progressive, Growing Company

After (Focused and Meaningful):

Business and Systems Analysis | Project Management

Unravel complex problems and weave intricate solutions enriched by analysis, testing and quality assurance. As a result, deliver products for operational, enterprise success, saving time and money and most recently, helping add $120K in profit to the organization’s bottom line.

2. Achievements Story. Attention-grabbing achievements stories articulate not only the metric-focused outcome, but also include the initial and subsequent challenges faced involving people, processes, internal/external forces and more. They also knit in nuance, describing the influence, problem solving, innovation and other skills and abilities you employed to ensure the project or goal was achieved.

Before (Kitschy):

Grew sales 82% across the globe.

After (Rich in Context and Nuance):

  • Skyrocketed sales 95% in 2 years by motivating distributors to collaborate and fuel distribution within their countries and cross-pollinate into other countries. Developed performance-based compensation package for new distributors.
  • Expanded global footprint by 62% to 59 countries on 5 continents, despite a shrinking market, applying innovation in sales processes and negotiation strategies.

3. Listing Keywords. While creating a separate keyword section on your resume isn’t necessarily wrong, a more effective method is organically tying the buzzwords into text, reinforcing your value.

Before (Kitschy):

Relationship Building | Business Partnerships | National Account Management | Collaboration | Analysis | Process Improvement | Large Sales Contracts

After (Buzzwords Organically Laced into the Context):

  • Exceptional executive acumen and deep Rolodex acquired through intuitive networking. Over the years, vetted out and cultivated long-term, mutually rewarding relationships with former colleagues, business partners and national accounts.
  • Integral to success with large-scale and B2B collaborations is an ability to analyze and construct a process behind the relationship. It is only with exclusivity, and with attention to the critical details that you win sizable, sustainable sales agreements

Remember, a clutter-free, contextual resume story will zero in on a hiring decision maker or recruiter’s needs and garner your next interview!