Like the movie of a similar name, wouldn’t it be great to have one night a year to purge your sins away without retribution? What would it be like if you were to purge your job history in much the same way? What if you were able to get rid of those job duties, internships, positions, you took because you had to not because you wanted to and you could erase them from your job history once and for all. If you could get rid of some of the less flattering parts of your job history what would you purge?
Proactively purging your job history is not meant to encourage you to lie or to misrepresent information on your resume. You can “emphasize the positive and eliminate the negative” as the song states without recreating history. Learning how to spin your resume and eliminate the information that no longer helps promote your best skills and qualifications is part of your purge. It’s not easy for some to weed out information from a resume, but learning how to determine what stands out from information that is repetitive will help make the process move more quickly. You might need to engage the help of a professional or a friend to put a fresh perspective on what might seem like a given for you. Emphasizing what is important from what is irrelevant helps you make sense out of an otherwise complicated mess of information.
Having the ability to objectively look at your self takes time and an honest point of view. Not everyone can decipher what is important from what is not when it comes to their job history. Here are a few ways to look at your resume and help you purge what no longer tells the story you want everyone to hear:
- Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Looking at your job history is like doing laundry, there is a cycle and process for everything. When you are unsure of what to include in your resume, make sure you are consistent in how you present your skills and accomplishments. Keep in mind listing your accomplishments consistently means that you focus on only those goals, which are meaningful and measureable and you get rid of anything that is redundant or merely a “fun fact.”
- Simply Stated: Including metrics such as revenue goals, staff size, departmental budget responsibility or how you may have increased or decreased key business measurements are important to include in your list of accomplishments. By eliminating statements that are not supported by quantitative measures, you purge what is unnecessary and highlight what is important and meaningful to the business as a whole not just your specific job.
- Make It Pretty: Formatting and layout of your resume is as important as the information that is contained within it. Taking the time to eliminate unnecessary or inconsistent formatting signals that you are detail oriented and want to present your information in a clean and consistent way. No one likes to read a list of dates that don’t tie into position or company names. If you have held more than one job in a company there is a right and a wrong way to list out the information to make it easy for the reader to follow.
When it comes to telling the story of how good you are, getting rid of irrelevant information, cleaning up your job progression or eliminating unrelated skills from your job history, helps you frame the story and makes the recruiter yearn for even more than the first page may hold.
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