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The Resume Cleanup: 4 Quick Fixes to Make Yours Stronger

Updating your resume may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. These tips are the equivalent of a speed clean vs. a spring clean. You’re not ripping your career history apart to put it back together again. You’re just prettying things up a bit.

Start with a compelling headline. Your profile should be a well-crafted sound bite that says who you are and what you bring to the table. Highlight your level of experience and areas of expertise.

Sample: 15 years of client management, business development and digital marketing experience at leading global advertising agencies. Track record of achieving business growth and building highly effective client service teams. Diverse industry expertise, including CPG, OTC/Rx Pharmaceutical, Financial Services and Consumer Electronics.

Quantify your accomplishments. Describe the results of your actions. For example, what are the size, scope and value of the agency business you manage? Include annual revenues and team size. Provide context if favorable, such as Achieved 25% growth over previous year.

Results could take the form of new/organic business growth, improved profitability, cost savings, client satisfaction metrics, marketing performance such as response rates or ROI, industry awards, etc.

Describe what sets you apart. It’s not about your job function. Your resume should read more like a performance appraisal than a job description. What have you delivered? How have you added value? What do you do better than anyone else? I’m looking for concrete examples, e.g. Inherited business when account was in review. Orchestrated strategy and led pitch team to retain account. Grew annual fees from $2 to $5MM, and won additional assignments from other brands.

Use visual language. Forget fancy industry speak that doesn’t mean anything. Choose the most expressive words that paint a memorable image of you.

Part Profiler, Biographer, Ambassador and Air Traffic Controller, I partner with hiring managers to identify exact talent needs, attract top candidates with a persuasive story of agency credentials and leadership, and steer interview thru offer to a successful conclusion.

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