Monday, February 18, 2008

Updating your resume after a long hiatus

In my previous blog entry, I described the current Bay Area job market as transitional. I say transitional because we’ve yet to feel an across the board slow down in hiring. However, economic indicators point to a slow down at some point in the near future. How significant, we won’t know until we’re living in it. With that point in mind, I’ve encouraged those who seek to make a job change in 2008, to do so earlier in the year (now), versus later.

One of the first things one has to do in order to get a job search started is update their resume. This can be a challenging, especially for those who have not looked for a new position, or have been out of the job market, for a while. When I work with folks in these situations, the main challenge they encounter when it comes to updating their resume is where to start. What items need to be added? What items should be left off?

To me, one of the best guides to keep in mind while crafting your resume after a long hiatus is to consider who will be receiving it. Who is your targeted audience? Once you determine that, you can then anticipate what kinds of skills and experiences they might be seeking from prospective candidates.

I believe, even a general resume, not necessarily targeting a specific position, should still have a theme to it. Before you sit down and start writing your resume, you should have a career objective in mind. What type of position do you seek? What types of companies/organizations do you what to work for? Who will probably be reviewing your resume first? Do you know the backgrounds of your audience and what they look for? Ask yourself these questions, before you start typing; answering them will help you establish a starting theme. Updating your resume is not just about chronicling your work history. If you’re not sure of the answers to these questions, then the best way to find out is to conduct research and start networking. These topics will be the subject of my next blog entry.

Alchemy’s career services practice can assist you in preparing your resume.

--Steve Hernandez