Is Your Resume Making You Appear Old?

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish

Is Your Resume Making You Appear Old?

How long has it been since you last updated your resume? Has it been 10, 15, or even more than 20 years? If so, you may want to consider how today’s resumes are different than the one you completed as you exited high school or college. The job market is always evolving and your resume needs to transform as well.

By creating a resume using those old standards, you come across as old, out-of-date, and stale with your skills. Instead, following these tips will give you a better chance of making it to an interview-and eventually-that new job.

Ditch the objective. In the past, candidates listed an objective on the resume so the potential employer knew his or her future career goals. The truth is, the resume must be viewed from the reader’s point of view. What can you do for the company? Instead of an objective, use a career summary that highlights the skills, experiences, and qualifications you can bring to the organization.

Remove any hobbies or personal information. Many years ago, it was commonplace to list some personal information and hobbies at the end of the resume. In today’s job market, personal details can result in an HR nightmare, leading to potential discrimination. In addition, most employers aren’t going to hire you based upon your hobbies, including your passion for kayaking and hiking. Instead, they care that you are involved in the community and have held several leadership positions at the local food bank.

Don’t list your job descriptions. As a Certified Professional Resume Writer, I have worked with clients that have simply pasted their job descriptions under the professional experience section. Not only is this entirely too long for a resume, it results in boring and static languages. Focus on what you accomplished at each of these positions. Rather than listing that you ‘managed multiple accounts,’ write that you ‘effectively led 45 accounts with $1M in sales on an annual basis.’

Eliminate job experience older than 15-20 years. If you have been working for more than 15 or 20 years, it is perfectly acceptable to leave off that older information. Often times, these skills may be dated or the company may no longer be in business. More details and space should be allotted for current, relevant, and up-to-date information.

Remove graduation dates. Unless you have graduated college within the last three to six months, there is no reason to list your graduation dates on your resume. And, at some point, listing that you graduated 20 or 30 years ago will start to date you. Why add this information to your resume and make it easy for someone to guess your age?

Don’t add ‘References Available Upon Request.’ This line has been the closing line on resumes for many years. And, yet, it really doesn’t tell us any details. It is simply understood that you will provide references when and if the hiring process gets to that point. Instead, use this space to discuss your community involvement, certifications, additional training, or leadership examples.

Ensuring that your resume is in-line with today’s job market is vitally important to your job searching success. Although you may have learned how to develop and write your resume many years ago, please know that the marketplace is constantly changing and your resume needs to change, too. Following these tips will allow you to be one step closer to your dream job and future employment opportunities.

About The Author

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, owner of Feather Communications, has been working with job seekers since 2008 to develop forward-thinking, eye-catching, and dynamic resumes for today's marketplace. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and has written thousands of resume for clients in a variety of fields. Dr. Rothbauer-Wanish has a BBA in Management, an MBA, and a PhD in Organization and Management.


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