Keeping your resume current is important, whether you’re job hunting or not. But when you want to find a new work at home job, you need to look carefully at your current resume to make sure that it presents you and your experience in the best possible light. These are some of the things you should do to update your resume for your work at home job hunt.
Check Your Contact Information
Having current and professional looking contact information is vital on your resume. You don’t need to include your street address, but you should have your name, phone number, email address, and possibly your website address or LinkedIn profile address on your resume.
Make sure your email address looks professional. The best option is to have your name with a Gmail email address or one associated with a domain you own. A student can get away with using an .edu address, but if you’re done with school it’s not ideal. Email addresses through AOL or Yahoo just look old. Using your name in your email address looks far more professional than using other words do.
Review Your Summary
Your summary gives a quick overview of your qualifications for the job. These are the points in your resume that will be the most important to a potential employer. This should go near the top of your resume.
If you still have an objective on your resume, delete it. Employers know what your objective is – it’s to get hired. You wouldn’t have sent in your resume otherwise.
Update Your Skills And Education
The skills and education you bring to a potential employer are also important. Keep these up to date. If at all possible, take the time to add to them whenever you can. There are plenty of courses at Udemy, community colleges,and so forth where you can build your skills in ways that will help your career.
Some educational choices will look better than others on a resume. When you sign up for a course, make sure that it will be a good addition to your resume.
Remove portions that are no longer relevant. There comes a time in your career when you don’t need to mention that yes, you have graduated from high school. Your college GPA eventually won’t matter either, as your experience will show whether or not you’re suited to the job.
Don’t mention skills that aren’t useful anymore. Employers won’t care how well you use some old software unless they specifically mention it in the job ad.
Update Your Work History
Even if you haven’t changed jobs since the last time you updated your resume, make sure to update your work history. Consider any new accomplishments you’ve made at work since the last update. What about promotions? Did you forget to add something to your work history that is relevant to your latest job hunt? Be specific. Include metrics whenever possible.
Bullet points are useful to make your accomplishments stand out from the general description of your job duties.
You may also need to trim down old employers who aren’t relevant anymore. That fast food job in high school isn’t relevant to your job hunt if you’ve had several other jobs since then, unless it has some specific relevance to what you’re looking for now. The same goes for that internship in college that has nothing to do with the kind of work you’re looking for now.
Review Your Terminology
Does the terminology you use in your resume show that you are current in your field?
If you use outdated terminology in your resume, it makes your skills look out of date. Make sure you haven’t let any old terminology stick around. If you have any doubt, do a little research and look it up.
In addition to professional terminology, look at the words you use to describe your accomplishments. Action verbs are vital to a great resume, if not overused. Consider this list of action verbs to improve yours.
You also need to consider keywords that are important to your industry. Most resume are scanned by applicant tracking software for relevant keywords before a human ever sees it. You want the software to see your resume as relevant to the job so that it gets to the human. Don’t forget the human even as you consider the software.
Update Your Formatting
Is your resume in a modern style? Resume formatting has changed quite a bit over the years.
Many resumes still have your name at the top, but your contact information, skills and education are in a narrow column off to one side. Done properly, this makes it easier for the employer to scan your resume for the information they want.
Use a professional font on your resume. Arial, Helvetica, Verdana and other professional looking Sans Serif fonts are a good choice. Don’t use an unusual font and please, please don’t use Comic Sans. That one is a bad idea for most purposes.
Aim for a one printed page resume, even though it may never be printed. There are times when going to a second page makes sense, but it’s not for everyone. Potential employers need to know enough about you to decide to contact you for an interview, and that’s it. Most times they’ll spend under 30 seconds on your resume. If you don’t get their attention that quickly, you won’t get called for an interview.
Make sure that your formatting is consistent throughout your resume. It looks sloppy if you have different fonts throughout your resume, use multiple date formats, or if you change bullet point styles.
Do NOT Include Excess Personal Information
There is no reason whatsoever to include excess personal information. This is a mistake I see parents who want to work at home make often when they contact me. They tell me nothing about their skills, but I hear all about how they have young children or an ailing parent they need to care for, and that’s why they want to work at home.
First of all, I’m not an employer. If you want work at home job hunting advice from me, I’ll give it, but your personal situation isn’t relevant. It’s even less relevant to potential employers. If you share too much personal information, they probably won’t want to hire you.
Employers do not care if you’re married, if you have kids, or what your hobbies are. If any of these limit your availability, bring up the hours you are available to work (but not why) in your interview. Employers want to hear about what you can do for them, not what you need them to do for you. Personal issues can be handled later. Keep them off your resume.
They also don’t need to see a photo of you. What you look like is not relevant to your resume.
Save Your Resume In The Right File Types
There are two important formats for saving your resume. The first is as a .doc or whatever word processor format you use. This one should be easy for you to edit later, and it’s possible that an employer will want that format for one reason or another. Give your new resume a new filename so that you can compare your old resume to your new if the need ever arises. Having multiple versions of your resume can help you other times that you need to update your resume.
The other is to save it as a PDF. This format ensures that you can easily send your resume to a potential employer and it will look the way you want it to look. There’s no worry about the formatting going wrong or someone accidentally changing your resume if you send it as a PDF. It also prints well, which may matter to some employers. Printed resumes aren’t all that popular anymore, but some people find paper easier to handle than staring at a screen all day.
Consider Making Multiple Resumes
Customizing your resume for each job you apply for is a good idea, but you can make the process faster by making multiple versions of your resume. This is especially important if you’re job hunting in multiple fields. Prepare a resume that is focused on each of those fields, and you won’t have to spend so much time customizing your resume as you find different job openings.
Review Your Social Media Presence
Many employers now search potential employees online and on social media websites to make sure they like what they see. I went into more detail on this subject in my article, Social Media Checklist For Job Hunters.
Update Your Resume On LinkedIn
Once you’ve finished updating your resume, make sure your LinkedIn resume is updated to match. Many employers check there, especially if you have included a link to it on your resume.
Sometimes a recruiter will find you on LinkedIn. Having someone contact you about a job you weren’t aware of is a good thing – just make certain that it’s legitimate first. Some work at home scams will claim to be from a legitimate company, but it’s just a person using that company’s name for their own purposes.