Are you sending out multiple resumes yet getting no response? Are you applying to positions for which you meet the qualifications, but you’re still not getting requests for interviews? It could be that your resume has gone stale. Just as you’re not looking for a job today using the same techniques and tactics that you used ten or even five years ago, your resume shouldn’t be a throwback to the 1990s either. Thoughtful consideration of the following can help you determine if your resume is past its prime:
You have an objective statement. The objective statement was a de rigueur inclusion on a resume in years - and decades - past. By today’s standards it is not only passé, but is also a waste of time and real estate. A hiring manager or recruiter does not care about your career objective. They care about solving a pressing problem. Instead use a summary or profile section that highlights your superstar achievements and competencies.
You list a land line phone number. And when you’re not home, is the recruiter going to get your answering machine? She might think she is calling the 1980s. List your mobile number only, as it is generally safe to assume that’s going to be the best way of getting in touch with you.
You have your GPA on your resume. If you’ve been out of school for more than five years, you should not lead with your education. Your GPA, clubs, and activities are not relevant to the hiring manager’s needs. The only exception to this would be if you achieved something really spectacular, like being a Rhodes Scholar. Otherwise, just note your degree and the conferring institution.
Yahoo or Hotmail. Nothing says you’re stuck in 1999 like a Yahoo or Hotmail email address. Only an MSN or AOL address is more glaringly obsolete. Sign up for a free Gmail address.
Overly formal, stilted language. Yes you want to use business parlance in writing your resume, but the tone and language needn’t be such that they obscure your meaning. Use plain, simple language, minimal jargon, and a relatable tone.
Carrier font. This font should be eliminated from all word processing programs. Carrier should go to the technology grave with the IBM Selectric that made it popular. Use almost any other mainstream font but carrier, or–even worse–comic sans.
Your physical mailing address. There is no need for anyone other than friends, family, and utility companies to know where you live. No employer is going to send you a snail-mail letter, and in an age of rampant identity theft, address information is best kept confidential. Try something like “Metro Atlanta Area” instead.
“Responsible for” or “duties include.” Who cares? Everyone knows that there are mundane tasks associated with all positions. No one wants to hear about those. Focus on achievements and impacts you’ve made to the business.
Sexist language. Salesman. Stewardess. Stock boy. The girls in the steno pool. Yuck.
Everything crammed onto one page. The one page rule can be tossed out, along with your shoulder pads and parachute pants. It’s more than appropriate to go over one page. In fact, if you’ve had any tenure in your field, your achievements had better take up more than one page.