EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

During June I was preparing our sailboat for our annual two week trip.

I take pretty good care of my boats, but still, there is always a maintenance list. This year, as is my practice, I went through each and every locker, removed everything and went through it item by item to see if I really needed it. It was a big job, but I am always amazed and astounded with the stuff I find. (Why did I buy that?)

It is easy to be lazy about things in your life. Since The FENG is about job search, I’ll focus for a minute on your resume. I figure most people practice their 90-second announcement a lot and since it is kind of “in your face” or in someone else’s, I assume that gets tuned up a lot. However, have you really looked through the lockers of your resume lately?

If I understand the process right, you polished up that old resume when you began your job search. Let me be encouraging in telling you that you are a lot smarter now. As you have been out and about in the world, my guess is that you know a lot more about the job search process and what is important than you did when you began. So, now is as good a time as any to empty out each and every sentence, bullet point and paragraph and give it a little tune up. You might even consider throwing out some parts of it to make room for more important matters.

The rumor is that most readers are only interested in your most recent ten years. Please don’t use that statement as an excuse to delete anything older. I am only putting it out there to highlight where your focus needs to be. Think about the fact that many of the accomplishments you have listed under your earlier career you have done again, but in a more senior capacity. There honestly is no need to have it appear twice.

As you have also probably used your old resume to build your new resume, you should probably reformat the whole darn thing. If you do a good old “copy, paste-unformatted” with your current document into a new file and go at the formatting again, you will most likely have a document that doesn’t go all “kerflooey” when it is opened on someone else’s computer with a different printer driver.

This same approach is also valid with your marketing materials and cover letters. Don’t be lazy.

The mental effort you apply to these most valuable documents, cleaning up the prose and making sure that everything that’s there is focused on where you see your search today can only pay big dividends.

Regards, Matt

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