Is Your Resume the Flip Phone of Resumes?

If you have been out of the job market for some time—but now find yourself looking for a job— simply dusting off (and using) your old resume could be a very unwise decision.

Even if you are well qualified for many jobs, you might not get called for an interview if your resume looks dated.

But how do you know?

Your resume may come across as “dated” if:

It lacks links to your social media profiles like LinkedIn and Twitter. Most employers will want to check the social media presence of candidates. If you have none, or if they present you in an unfavorable light, your odds of getting the job decrease.

It rambles on for pages. For most people, a two-page resume should be sufficient to illustrate your relevant skills. The key here is “relevant.” Most employers are not interested in your part-time, summer, or even full-time jobs you held years ago.

It uses an out-of-date print style. Select a clean, easy-to-read typeface such as Helvetica, Arial, Calibri, or Cambria. (Although some think Times New Roman is classic and timeless, most people now consider it to be old and boring.) While you’re at it, choose a font size between 10 and 12 point to make it easier on the reader’s eyes, and use this font consistently on your resume and cover letter.

It is sent as a Word doc. All resumes should be saved as a pdf before emailing and saved with a name that makes sense to the receiver. Try using “Resume – your name”

It includes skills that are considered “givens.” Everybody should know MS Office so there is no need to brag about it, unless the employer references it in the job posting. Obviously, you would never include skills that are no longer used like Lotus 123.

Your resume may also come across as “dated” if:

It includes a fax number. Do I have to explain why?

It includes your home (civic) address. All you need at the top of your resume is your name, email, phone number, and social media links.

It contains old-school management buzzwords. No one uses “management by objectives” (MBO) or “management by walking around” (MBWA) anymore. Even the legendary “open door policy” is becoming boring.

It contains a lot of personal information. Years ago, resumes included age, gender, marital status, and hobbies. Today there is no need to include any personal information. Always keep it professional.

It is a regurgitation of your job description. The employer does not want a laundry list of our duties and responsibilities. Instead, focus on listing your work-related accomplishments.