Four Ways to Avoid an Outdated Resume

by Cathy Eng

Resume Mistakes

Beyond the skills and experiences you list in your resume, the formatting and design you use says a lot about you. Recruiters and hiring managers can tell right away when they look at your resume whether you simply pulled a template off the internet and plugged in your information, or took the time to create a customized, up-to-date document that is a perfect representation of you. They know the current resume trends and pay attention to certain aspects. Here are some ways to avoid dating your resume:

Trash the Objective

Career objective statements are outdated and solely focused on the job candidate – a big no-no in today’s job market where the focus is on what the candidate can do for the company. Employers are not interested in furthering your career unless it serves their interests. So, drop the objective and go with an executive summary or career highlights section that focuses on your unique selling points and what you have to offer.

Be Sure to Include Your Email Address

Although it’s unlikely you will be contacted via email requesting an interview, you want to be open for contact through a variety of channels. You may opt to create a simple, professional sounding email address through Google or Yahoo! to use solely for job search purposes. Pay attention to the name you choose (e.g. [email protected] doesn’t send the right message). In addition, if your current employer tracks your incoming and outgoing emails, it’s best to avoid giving that address to potential employers.

Lose the Reference List

Keeping with current resume trends, which recruiters and hiring managers are well versed in, it’s best to avoid including a list of your references – or even the phrase “References available upon request”. It wastes important resume space and it is generally presumed that, unless they are requested in the job posting, you will be asked for references if they are needed.

Cut Out Details About Jobs You Held 20 or More Years Ago

Although what you did in 1990 may have had an impact on your career then, everything has changed. Being an accountant, programmer, teacher, sales manager, business analyst, doctor – all jobs have evolved a great deal since then. Employers want to know you have what it takes to deliver in today’s environment. Therefore, detail your career accomplishments for the past 10 years, and then give a short listing of your positions prior to that time. For example:

  • Sr. Buyer, ABC Corporation, 1993 – 1999
  • Buyer, DEF and Company, 1989 – 1993
  • Clerk, GHI, Inc., 1988 – 1989
  • …and so forth.

Just like technology, medicine, and so many other fields, resume trends continually evolve and those most entrenched in the industry – recruiters and hiring managers – are most aware of the changes. Showing that you have done your homework and created a fantastic, up-to-date resume will help your document get noticed in a sea of boring, antiquated template resumes.

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