If you’ve watched Netflix recently, then it’s likely you’ve seen at least one episode of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The feel-good show follows Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo as she helps people from all walks of life clean up their homes and their lives.
Believe it or not, her trademark method of holding each item and asking yourself whether or not it sparks joy can actually be applied to your résumé. Here are some of our best, Marie Kondo-esque, tips for cleaning up your résumé.
Keep it current
As your career grows, so does your work history. When you were applying for your first job, it was probably necessary to include every bit of work experience you’ve ever had, otherwise, your résumé would have been painfully short. But as your professional life evolves, it becomes far less important to list every job and position you’ve ever held. In fact, it might even be harmful.
Experts recommend only showcasing the past 10 years of your work experience — the one exception being featuring work experience that is directly related to the role in which you are applying. There are two reasons for this: the skills needed for and learned from those early jobs probably aren’t relevant to the work you’re doing now or plan to do in the future, so they’re not entirely relevant. Secondly, too much work experience, whether relevant or not, can lead hiring managers to think that you’re overqualified for the job.
If you’re intent on keeping those older work experiences, then you can lump them under one concise heading: “early career.”
The Kondo question: Does this show results?
Employers want to see actions and quantifiable results on a résumé. They’re less interested in the fact that you’ve been gainfully employed for the last decade and are more interested in learning what you’ve actually done in the last decade. Did you find a way to save a previous company real dollars during your time with them? Or did you have success finding new and inventive ways to retain customers? Include those things. Use action verbs and real numbers to describe your past roles, rather than a general description of your daily responsibilities.
Asking yourself “does this show results?” about every item on your résumé is a great way to ensure that it will stand out and get noticed.
Have a goal
Many job seekers drag extra clutter into their résumé when they don’t have a clear and well-defined goal. This is especially true of those looking to switch industries. If you don’t have a target job in mind while crafting your résumé, you’re more likely to throw in a lot of unrelated skills and work experiences, thinking that something on the list will appeal to the hiring manager. Knowing exactly what job or industry that you’re trying to target with your résumé will help you narrow your focus. Include only the most relevant work experience and the most essential skills.
If you’re interested in pursuing employment in more than one industry, try creating two separate résumés for each. This is the easiest way to ensure that you’re including only relevant content.