It's Update Your Resume Month

What? You didn't know that September was Update Your Resume Month"?

September is also Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month, Library Card Sign-up Month, Chicken Month, Salmon Month and National Coupon Month. And, in case you missed it, Sunday was Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'll spare you the 18th letter of the alphabet.

In light of Update Your Resume Month, which was started by Career Directors International, let's take a look at how you can freshen up your resume.

We know that one-page resumes are still very much the norm in the news business. We also know that editors are strapped for time. They scan, just like readers.

So, take your resume and fold the bottom half back behind the top half. Look at that top half page. Is your best stuff there, or have you saved it for a big finish at the bottom of the page? Move your best stuff up. Put it on the top of your resume. The experiences, traits and skills that make you stand out from the crowd should be what the hiring manager sees first. There is no room for warmups. Hit the high points early.

Then, consider your typography and layout. What is getting emphasized? The important or the mundane? If you want the names of your employers to stand out, put them at the beginning of each line. If job titles seem more impressive, put them first. Use bold type judiciously, making the better features pop.

By packing the top of the resume with your best material and using design to accent it, you will increase your scan-impact.

Coming Thursday: How to identify signs that you should stop talking during an interview.

Career questions? E-mail Joe for an answer.

  • Joe Grimm

    Joe Grimm is a visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. He runs the JobsPage Website.


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