Does your resume spark joy?

by Jan 20, 2020

If you’re familiar with tidying expert Marie Kondo, author of the bestselling book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,’ and star of the Netflix show, ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,’ you know that her philosophy revolves around the idea that simplifying, organising and decluttering your home will help you live a life that sparks joy.

Marie Kondo’s philosophy can be used to create an effective and compelling resume. Recruiters and employers love simplified, organised and decluttered resumes because they are clear, specific, simple and consistent. Here’s how to apply Marie Kondo’s philosophy to creating your new resume.

Commit yourself to tidying up

Creating a new resume takes effort, time and focussed thought, so schedule a time when you can sit for a couple of hours to get started on the process. Most people find it works best to write their resume over a number of sessions rather than trying to get it done all at once. Doing it this way helps break the task into manageable chunks, and brings a fresh mind to the document in order to review progress.

Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Before starting, clarify the reasons why you want a new resume. As clearly as you can, identify the kind of role you want right now, and picture your new resume helping you get it. This step will help you clarify your purpose, and supply motivation and direction to see the task through. An effective resume is a marketing document, and having a clear purpose will help you create a resume that specifically targets the kinds of roles you want.

Finish discarding first

Most people have a resume that is a continuation of earlier versions of their resume, which means that their current resume contains everything they’ve ever done. Marie Kondo’s philosophy of discarding first before deciding what to keep helps you let go of some things in order to make room for others, whilst at the same time freeing you of non-essential items. In taking this step, try to view your document through the eyes of recruiters and employers. What information might be meaningful to you, but not relevant to include for a specific kind of role?

Tidy by category

A resume requires a sturdy structure to make it organised and easy to read. The overriding structure for your resume content is categories or sections. Examples of typical resume categories include Career Objective, Education, Employment History, Special Projects, Skills Summary, Volunteer Experience, and Awards & Accomplishments. Don’t get distracted by going back and forth between categories as you work. Focus on one category at a time and work on them individually to make the task of writing your resume more manageable.

Ask yourself if it sparks joy

You’ve completed a first draft. Do you feel excited when you look at your new resume? Is the content interesting and relevant? Does it communicate your career and study successes so far? Have you highlighted specific relevant achievements? Is it crafted for your target audience? Is the formatting consistent, simple and organised? Is it error free? The last step before creating a final draft is getting feedback. You can use UTS’s Rate My Resume to get immediate feedback, anywhere and anytime. If you can, it’s also a good idea to show your new resume to a careers or industry expert for feedback and advice. Don’t forget to ask them, does my resume spark joy? 


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

By Ellen Rodger

By Ellen Rodger

Careers Advisor

Ellen Rodger is a Careers Advisor with over 10 years’ experience in helping people reach their career goals. As a Careers Consultant at UTS, she delivers careers-related workshops and provides one-on-one career counselling to students.