Let’s face it: working on your resume takes a lot of time. But it’s essential to work on it a little every so often, so you don’t have to do a major update that takes hours. Anything worth doing is worth doing well; since your resume is the first thing potential employers see, it’s worth the effort to make a good impression.
A dated resume can make you look out of touch with current trends, which implies that you may lack some necessary skills for the job you’re hoping to get.
Each aspect listed below can negatively impact your ability to secure an interview, whether in person or by phone. If you’re at the beginning of your job search or you’re actively looking and not getting the results you want, then review your resume.
Essential Points to Check on Your Resume
As time goes on, industries adapt to new demands. Your resume should do likewise. Starting at the top, you need to review:
- Format. Many employers insist on digital files for resume submissions; in fact, some won’t even accept a paper copy at all. If you have only one print-out of your resume, you’ll be forced to scan it; this could result in a poor-quality file that won’t automatically populate key fields when you apply for positions.
- Design. Once upon a time, employers wanted resumes that were clear and to the point in black and white, written out in the Times New Roman font. These days, it’s okay to get a bit more creative with the font and arrangement of your resume’s sections. Even adding a little colour is encouraged; however, the paramount need is for readability, so don’t go overboard.
- Your email address. A Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail address is no longer considered professional. Thankfully, this mistake has a fast and easy fix; you can create a Gmail account on Google in minutes. Gmail is a tech-savvy, up-to-date, free option that won’t hurt your prospects.
- A long work history: That entry-level job from 1975 doesn’t reflect your current skillset. Relegate it to a simple mention instead of a full description or remove it altogether; you can always mention the job in the interview if it’s appropriate. Your Professional Experience section should focus on the most relevant details and experience of the last ten to fifteen years, so your current expertise gets the attention it deserves.
- Outdated technology or skills. Review your skillset and make sure your proficiencies, if listed, reflect current technology and platforms. Your skills in WordPerfect and other superseded software won’t help you get a job, but they could eliminate you from consideration. Listing your Y2K preparedness skills is also a sure-fire way to look out of touch with the times–unless you know that a potential employer needs those specific skills.
- Graduation dates. Your education matters, but graduation dates that are too far in the past could indicate that you’re nearing retirement. While age discrimination is illegal, mentioning those dates could lead to your resume entering the “reject” pile. To give yourself the best chance of getting your foot in the door, consider removing the dates.
- Personal details. If you’re not looking for a job in the performing arts, there’s no need to include your personal details, such as age, sex, appearance, or hobbies. Employers are too busy to care that you’re a collector of coins or do yoga. Listing your achievements and your results are the critical pieces of information that prompt that interview or email you need.
Your Other Resumes
The world has shrunk since the internet arrived. As a result, employers will research you after you’ve contacted them or had an interview. Having an online profile will strengthen your case. LinkedIn is the go-to job website, so use your resume and as the basis of your LinkedIn profile, adding LinkedIn-specific content such as Recommendations or Groups. This will give potential employers the chance to make an in-depth assessment. You can include:
- A brief profile summary
- Volunteer work
- Individual skills
- Samples of your work, such as videos, short stories, white papers, etc.
Your colleagues can also provide recommendations that will be showcased on your LinkedIn resume; you can, in turn, recommend your friends and colleagues. However, it’s best to limit how many you give and write legitimate recommendations. If you’ve never worked with your friend at your company or on a project, don’t supply a recommendation just because they’re your best bud.
Once your LinkedIn profile is complete, customize your URL and add it to your primary resume in the contact section. Need extra help? Fast & Focused offers LinkedIn coaching.
Don’t put your resume on Indeed, Monster, and other similar websites. This can lead to unscrupulous recruiters submitting your resume for jobs you don’t fit or for jobs you have already applied for. Both of these situations could cause you to lose a job opportunity. Instead, check the ads and apply through the posting company’s site, NOT the job board.
Update with Fast & Focused
Fortunately, any mistakes on your resumes can be easily remedied, so it truly reflects your expertise and potential. Any time you begin a new job search, you should update your resume to highlight your most important and recent skills, as well as duties. You will also benefit from additional reviews in case you missed any grammatical errors.
Having an up-to-date resume is essential in today’s competitive environment. Get in touch today to discover how to make your resume not only look modern but stand out in an increasingly crowded field. Let me present your experience and skills in the best possible light that HR reps and recruiters won’t be able to resist.
To your success!
Your Vancouver Resume Writer