When you’re looking for a job, your resume is often the very first thing that a potential employer sees. For this reason, it is important that your resume showcases exactly what you want to be: intelligent, organized, professional, and reliable. However, even if everything on your resume is spelled perfectly and you have meticulously looked it over for mistakes, it could still be sending a bad message to hiring managers: that you are outdated. Just like how certain fashion staples go in and out of the style over the years, resume styles can change too. Look over your resume to make sure that you are not committing any of these errors which could make your resume – and you – look dated.
- Including an "Objectives" section. Though many resume templates in popular word processors may include a space for your "objectives," which was the area in which applicants would write down their job-seeking goals, this part of the resume has largely been nixed. Hiring managers are perfectly aware of the applicant’s main objective: to find a job. Therefore, valuable resume space should not be wasted on this section anymore. In fact, cover letters can elaborate in greater and better detail about your objectives than that section on your resume ever could. When you are crafting your resume, forget the "Objectives" section and pen a comprehensive cover letter instead, or replace that section with one that summarizes your qualifications.
- Listing too much irrelevant work experience. A hiring manager can tell if you are using a recycled resume from high school if there are too many irrelevant work experiences listed. The most egregious of offenders are those who include a page-spanning list of the various part-time jobs they have held over the years. While new college graduates will undoubtedly have little full-time experience in the workplace, they should still take care to tailor and trim the work experience section of their resumes. Only keep the jobs that you can somehow relate to the job you are seeking. For example, hiring managers may not interested in all of the different places where you have waited tables, but they may be intrigued by the places where you have worked as a shift manager.
- Listing jobs that you had more than two decades ago. Though this will likely not be a problem for college graduates who went straight from high school to college, it is something that adult learners and job-seekers should keep in mind. The rule of thumb is to only include the relevant work experience you have had within the past 10 to 15 years. For anything beyond that time span, you should include it in the "Other Relevant Experience" section instead of directly in the "Job Experience" category of your resume. Including jobs from that long ago in your resume could cause an employer to guess your age. Discrimination based on age still exists, so be wary of informing a hiring manager before he or she meets you in person about your age through your vintage work experience catalog. Instead, keep your job experience list current and let your employers size you up – age and all – when you meet them in person instead of when they meet you through your resume.
- Listing outdated technological skills or being too vague in technological prowess. Back when many resume guides and templates were made, computer technology was still in its early years. Today, having a strong proficiency in certain computer programs and technologies is highly desirable, thanks to the depths by which computers have infiltrated everyday business operations. This means that simply noting that you are skilled with computers is not enough. You will need to elaborate on your resume. Specify what operating systems you are capable in, as well as what particular programs you have expertise in. Do not forget to specify your skills even the most common of programs, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, as employers may be scouring resumes for exactly that skillset.
- Otherwise "fluffing up" your resume with vague expressions and irrelevant information. Your resume no longer has to be confined to a single page, but you should still avoid padding it with heaps of unnecessary information. According to an article posted on AOL Jobs, using intentionally vague terms like "communication skills" and "leadership skills" to describe your qualifications can cause an employer to toss out your resume. Instead, specify how you have displayed these skills in your professional experience, such as listing some of the big projects you’ve managed. In addition, get rid of all of the honors you received in college from your resume if you are not a recent graduate. A "Personal Interests" section should also not be on your resume, as employers likely could care less whether or not you play volleyball on the weekends or enjoy practicing on your guitar.
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