Many of us hold on to the same resume – same format – same information, year after year. If this sounds like you, it may be time to update that outdated resume.
Contact Information – Including specifics, such as your street address and home telephone number, may be a thing of the past. You can choose whether or not to include your city and state, or general geography, but you must absolutely make sure to have both your cell number and email address clearly visible. Personally, I like to see this information at the very top. Employers contact candidates via email and even text now, so make sure you don’t miss out on any communication that a potential employer wants to send you.
Don’t have a phone with texting capability? Then this is definitely the year to upgrade.
Objective Line – Stating your one or two sentence objective is no longer necessary. In a land long ago called the 1990’s (wink, wink), we were taught to start off with a brief summary of what we as job seekers were looking for. Nowadays, this is not only an outdated trend, it may also hurt a job seeker by pigeon-holing them to a very specific job. Concentrate on your experience and accomplishments in the main body of your resume.
Bragging About Old Technology – Speaking of the 90’s, declaring that you are great with Windows 95 or Lotus 1-2-3 may do you more harm than good. Employers want to make sure that you are up to date with the technology used in today’s business world. Also, unless it is specific to the job for which you are applying, you probably will want to omit things like your typing speed of 65 wpm.
Only include technology, software or programs specific to what the employer needs to know.
Buzzwords – Though everyone wants a great “team-player” and someone who can “think outside of the box”, it really isn’t necessary to include terms like these on your resume anymore. Instead, be sure to showcase what you have actually done. Talk about a great project you collaborated on, or something you implemented. Do you have a great quote from your LinkedIn recommendations? You should include that!
Graduation Date – Employers should know about your educational achievements. However, they don’t need to know the year of these achievements. I’ve seen graduation years not only for college degrees, but also high school and even elementary school graduation (yes, I am telling the truth!). If you are a recent high school graduate, or are applying for a job that requires a high school diploma or GED, go ahead and list this. If you are currently in college, state something along the lines of your degree is in progress. If you have a college degree, list the school and degree. But, again, the specific graduation year is not necessary.
Listing all Jobs – If you have just a few years of work experience, then yes, list the jobs you had right out of high school or college. If you have been in the working world for a number of years, and have really progressed in your career, or even changed your career a few times, there isn’t a need to list every job you’ve ever had. Stick to the most relevant and recent jobs that will complement the career you are looking for and the job you are able to do now.
References – The references trend went from actually listing names, titles, and numbers, to simply stating “References Available Upon Request”. Now, we don’t have to do either. If a potential employer wants to contact your references, they’ll ask you for that information. Enough said.
Happy New Year!!