Whether you’ve been working for a while or you’re just returning to a career after staying home with your children or caring for an aging parent, it’s time to take a good long look at your résumé.
“Your résumé should be updated at least every six months or every time you do something significant in your career such as getting a promotion, winning an award or completing a large project,” said Ashley Watkins, a professional résumé writer for Write Step Résumés LLC.
“Most people assume résumé writing is simply checking your documents for typos and using colorful words to describe everyday tasks,” she said.
Watkins, who has been in the human resources/recruiting field for about 13 years, said she often sees recurring issues with résumés. “Common mistakes often include submitting a résumé that is entirely too long, has an outdated format, consists of a laundry list of tasks versus actual achievements, lacks targeting, and is filled with errors,” she said.
She also assists many people who question how to update their résumé if they are transitioning back into the workforce after taking time off to raise for children or care for loved ones.
“Being a stay-at-home parent does not mean you don’t work,” she said. “Think of ways to translate your family duties into useful job skills. For instance, if you worked in accounting, show the employer how the duties you performed at home such as budgeting, saving, or gaining additional income is relevant to the accounting job you hope to gain. If you’d like to become a teacher, show them how you’ve started to home school your child or served as a tutor for neighborhood children. The key is to show you have relevant skills the employer will find helpful.”
Watkins advises even if you are not being compensated, it’s important to find a way to keep your job skills up to par.
“I often work with parents who have not worked in several years in order to stay home to care for children or an ill family member,” Watkins said. “I advise anyone to find time to volunteer for a worthy cause, take an online course, or become active in an organization geared toward their area of expertise. The key is to use this time away from work to refine job skills in order to show employers you are not completely out of the loop when you plan to reenter the workforce.”
To assist people who are out of work, changing careers, or feeling stuck in their current job due to lack of upward mobility, Watkins said Write Step Résumés, LLC, which was founded in 2012, offers lots of free information to help job seekers get a head start on their new careers. Find job tips on Facebook at www.fb.com/WriteStepResumes, on Twitter @WriteStpResumes, and on Instagram @WriteStepResumes. To schedule a free consultation, visit www.WriteStepResumes.com or call/text 205-352-4212.
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