Spring Cleaning for Your Career: Have 10, 20, or 30 Minutes to Spare?

Does the idea of spring cleaning and organizing make you want to hide under a rock until winter? Why not spruce up your resume or LinkedIn profile instead?

Sometimes the career material update process is daunting—maybe you don’t know where to start, or you just lost a job and are in an urgent hurry to get another. So you’re not in an urgent job race, and if you have 10, 20, or 30 minutes to spare, here are some quick resume and social network updates you can do to spruce up your career materials.

10-Minute Fixes

Read your resume and correct any errors, typos, or outdated information. Some tasks could include:

  • Proofread to catch any of those things that aren’t spelling errors, but rather, usage errors
  • Run a spell check and grammar check (Grammarly is great for this)
  • Update any start and end months/years from jobs (often, people forget to put the end date in and it keeps showing as –present). It’s much easier if you put this detail in right away so you don’t have to rifle through paperwork later.

It’s great to make these short updates when you’re not scrambling to apply for a job:

“You have the best chance of being considered for a job if you apply within the first 24 hours.” 

Monster.com Career Advice

20-Minute Remedies

  • Revise wording to strengthen the language (quantify accomplishments when you can, such as budget savings or sales numbers).
  • Add new skills or volunteer positions, especially if you’ve taken on leadership tasks.
  • Update software skills – if you previously had novice-level knowledge but now have more expertise, list those applications.

Take advice from The Muse to strengthen verbs and swap adjectives, to remove outdated info, and more in this article: 45 Quick Changes That Help Your Resume Get Noticed

30-Minute Repairs

  • Do a keyword search and update your job titles, expertise/skills, and software skills to match what recruiters look for in your industry. Your resume/social profile job title can be different than how your company refers to your role–just make sure it’s truthful based on what you actually do or did for responsibilities. For example, I was once an implementation consultant, which didn’t mean much to recruiters. I usually referred to myself as a “Communication Manager” or something related to my skills and experience.
  • Check your social profiles – what you share, who can see them, how appropriate they are for business. If you’re using a social network for business, add or update it to make sure you link to professional portfolios, websites, and blogs.
  • Read your resume backwards…may sound like funny advice, but an editing trick is to read content backwards. For example, read your bullet points starting from the last word back to the first word. You’ll catch awkward constructions and other things that aren’t spelled wrong but are still used wrong in the context. This is one time when you might catch things that’ll save you embarrassment! (pubic when you meant public / severed when you really meant served.)

Here’s a quick visual cheat sheet you can use to remember these quick resume and social profile career update tips (click the image to get a bigger one, then right-click>save as if you want to download):A quick view of our tips for 10, 20, and 30 minute updates for your career items

Check out our Templates area so you can download items to make it easier to create and edit resumes, cover/application letters, interview materials, and resignation letters.