Is your resume in need of a spring cleaning?

Is your resume in need of a spring cleaning?People don’t talk about spring cleaning much any more but when I was a little girl, long before there were computers and mobile phones, and even much television, our family had a tradition of spring cleaning. My grandmother lived on the lower level of our house (see photo above by my brother, Andrew Plath) built almost 50 years before I was born by my grandfather. Every spring my aunts came over to help her with the cleaning. They hung quilts and blankets on the line as well as the rugs. I got to help by beating the rugs with the old fashioned rug beater.

Up until I was about 5 or 6 years old, Gramma had a wood stove in the kitchen. I would guess that there was wood dirt and ashes mixed with the normal dust so spring cleaning was even more critical. We cleaned the wallpaper and we washed the painted walls. Even Gramma’s closet was cleaned by removing everything from her very deep and long closet. It was the only time of year I saw what was in there. I don’t remember how we cleaned that but we probably washed those walls too.

It was work but it was fun. If I remember correctly, it was a three day span of cleaning everything. Gramma was 72 when I was born but she was the youngest 72 I have ever known. The family always came together for spring cleaning and it was almost a celebration. Winter was over and new things were beginning.

Your resume deserves the same kind of spring cleaning

One of my clients has been digging out old resumes and scanning them into her computer. She is looking for the details from the past and is delighted with what she is finding. We will be selective of what we use but she is amazed at how much is there. She remarked recently, “Everyone should update their resumes yearly, you forget too much otherwise.” This is advice I have given for years.

Spring Cleaning Resume Organization

  • Keep a folder, paper or electronic, and put notes of accomplishments before you forget them. Don’t over-think the writing. You can always clean them up later. Use brainstorming strategies to just keep writing them down.
  • Keep the old resumes in a folder on your computer labeled resumes and date each file with the date. (Your Name Resume 2014, Your Name Resume 2012) Now in case you want some of the old data, you have it.
  • Keep a master document with the dates going backwards historically. While you are at it, capture your supervisors names, the phone number, the address so you have the information for any applications. On rare occasions, I have seen applications ask for your elementary school information. It sounds silly but it happens.
  • Gather your college transcripts. It can take time to get them when you need them. Some colleges ask you to mail or fax a request. They won’t accept an email or phone request.

Spring Cleaning your Resume

  • Now that you have all that information, take a look at your most recent resume. How does it compare to current ones? To find that out, check out samples of professional resume writers who belong to at least one career organization. (see my sidebar for career organizations)
  • Read information on current resume standards. Hint, a blog like this one is a good place to start. For more like this one, check here.
  • Update your resume to include current strategies and your current accomplishments.
  • Store your resume in a safe place and don’t forget to do your spring resume cleaning once a year!

To get your career or job search launched with an outstanding resume and targeted career marketing strategies, simply click here!

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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