Methods for Modernizing Your OLD Resume
If you haven’t sought a new employment opportunity for 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years, you may be confused about where to start with a resume for today’s marketplace. Has that much changed since you last applied for a new position during 1995 or even 2005? The answer is YES! And, if you choose to not implement these key tips, you can almost be assured that your resume will never see the light of day at the hiring manager’s office.
Tip #1 – Lose the Objective. Gone are the days of stating why you want to boost your skills, share your talents, and optimize your career path. The truth is—your objective is clear. If you are sending resumes for a new job, then your objective is to get an interview. The objective serves no purpose and should be eliminated from today’s resumes. Rather than wasting this prime real estate at the top of the resume, be sure to capitalize on it.
Tip #2 – Use a Career Summary. Instead of an objective, utilize that space to provide a high-overview of your career thus far. This allows you to pinpoint those qualifications and skills that make you different than other candidates, along with discussing a bit of your employment history. This is also a great place to add key words that are used in job advertisements.
Tip #3 – Identify Key Words and USE THEM. Speaking of key words, what are they? These are the words that are repeated in a job advertisement, specifying the technical knowledge, soft skills, and abilities required to be successful in the position. Many companies utilize an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) system to filter through incoming resumes. Without these words used in your document, your resume may be out of contention before an HR professional reads it.
Tip #4 – Don’t Date Your Education. Unless you graduated from college during the last six months, there is no reason to put your graduation date on your college degree. A recent college graduate may choose to do so (and even place Education prior to Professional History) simply because he or she doesn’t have any relevant professional experience at this point. However, for the rest of us, dating your education can be a reason for age discrimination in the future. And, why open yourself to that possibility?
Tip #5 – There is No Need to Include All Jobs. The most frequent question I receive from clients is about how far back to go on the resume. Should they include that first job from 1985? The answer is no. Typically, resume writers will recommend only including the relevant past positions and that usually aligns with the last 10-15 years of employment.
Tip #6 – It’s Okay to Split Your Job Experiences. For example, if someone has been in sales and marketing for awhile, but has also had IT experiences, it is perfectly acceptable to have two sections of professional history. In fact, this works very well if someone is specifically targeting one of the areas only. If sales and marketing is the future focus, then place that section first. And, if IT is where the candidate wants to go in the future, be sure to put that information first. This allows the candidate to adjust the resume as needed for future opportunities.
Tip #7 – Remove Personal Information. Many years ago, resumes potentially contained personal information such as marital status, number of children, and hobbies. Today, that type of information could become HR’s worst nightmare. There is no place for personal information on today’s resumes. Keep it professional at all times.
The bottom line is this: if you are ready to start your job search in the current marketplace, be sure that you are complying with all of the unwritten rules of modern resumes. And, if you are unsure where to start, please contact us today!
Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish is one of our featured experts for the May 17th Free, You Can Get Hired Workshop from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Maple Grove Community Center. She is eager to meet you and would be happy to connect on how she can help you get the best resume possible. Register now to get your ticket. Click the button below.