My mom was notorious for having an overstuffed refrigerator. It was bad, and sometimes smelly and moldy. When she would go out of town, I would house sit for her. That meant I would have to clean out her refrigerator if I wanted to use it. She called me the refrigerator fairy. I know you’re thinking, what does a clean refrigerator have to do with your resume, right? Well surprise, let me connect the dots for you.
Clean Your Refrigerator, Clean Your Resume
The first thing I do when cleaning the frig is get rid of the musgos. I hear you saying to yourself, “What in the world are musgos?” Those are the things in the refrigerator that absolutely MUST GO in the trash. You know, the moldy leftover mashed potatoes from the pot roast dinner a month ago. The limp celery and shriveled lettuce you intended to add to your diet but never did. The ten Styrofoam leftover boxes from all the restaurants you ate at during the last two weeks. Don’t forget about the freezer with those four-year-old bags of shriveled fruits and vegetables. Then there is the ice cream with the protective layer of ice on top. In case you don’t know what I’m referring to, check out this movie clip with Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds in the 1996 movie, Mother.
Just like in your refrigerator, resumes can have musgos and those things—gotta go.
Top 3 Resume Musgos
- The 1980’s style objective statement that focuses on what you want NOT on how you can give the employer what they want. You know what I’m talking about, “To use my experience and learn new skills to advance within a company.” <holds hand over mouth and tries not to gag>
- The tired line at the bottom of your resume that says “References Available Upon Request”; yep, that’s gotta go too. Today’s employers will definitely ask you to supply references if that is part of their hiring process. Leave that dated phrase off your resume and put together a complete reference sheet that lists four professional references and one character reference. Don’t forget to list their complete contact information such as name, job title, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
- Your birth date, physical address, and marital status. Never include these on your resume! These are private pieces of information that you do NOT want to share with everyone who handles or reads your resume. Including this information is like an open door to identity theft, home burglaries, stalkers, or worse.
Top 3 Resume Inside Cleanup Chores
Next, clean the shelves, drawers, and the bottoms of the containers and jars inside the frig. This may require a putty knife to scrape the spilled pickle juice, sticky jelly that ran down the outside of the jar, and pieces of broken eggshell off your shelves. Just think how happy you will be when you’re finished. Now it’s time to clean the inside of your resume.
- Minimize your job duties and accent your achievements and accomplishments. Those things you did to save money, make money, save time, solve problems, improve the business reputation, and streamline a process or system.
- Refine your wording and include action verbs to describe what you do and what you’ve accomplished.
- Keep each bullet point short and concise no longer than three or four lines.
Finally, Top 3 Resume Exterior Cleanup Chores
- Wipe off the top of the refrigerator to remove the dust bunnies and dead insect graveyard.
- Clean the doors, handles, ice dispenser nook, and the sides.
- Vacuum the refrigerator coils to remove the dust bunnies that are hiding there, too. Bonus, this will enhance your refrigerator’s performance.
The outside of the refrigerator is similar to the design of your resume—it’s what you see first. Here are a few things you can do to enhance the appearance of your resume:
- Use easy to read basic fonts no smaller than 9 points with the majority of text at 11 points.
- Keep the number of fonts to a minimum—two is recommended.
- Update the look with a touch of color. This is not the place where “if some is good, more is better.” Pick just one color and use it for your name, bullet points, or a few thin horizontal lines. Use a basic color such as navy blue, tan, burgundy, medium blue, hunter green, or gray.
Leverage Holiday Get Togethers
Now you have a sparkling clean refrigerator and a more powerful resume just in time for holiday gatherings. <smiles> Don’t forget to give your updated resume to your references, family, friends, and those in your network. You never know who might be at a holiday party, that needs to know your value and what you have to offer as presented on your resume. The more you apply for jobs and share your resume the likelier you are to get it into the hands of an employer that is looking for someone just like you.
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