You probably designed your resume to fit a standard template and may have added some new jobs along the way, but have you kept abreast of new formatting conventions? Don’t let your dated resume hurt your chances of getting your dream job before you’re even offered an interview. Here are some tips to revive your resume ahead of your next application.
Objectives tend to be generic and recruiters/hiring managers only spend so much time looking at each resume. Don’t you want them to focus on your work experience and the skills that set you apart from other applicants? You can write about yourself in your cover letter but including an objective at the top of your resume only takes up valuable real estate and can date you.
Extraneous dates and other details that give away your age
Unfortunately, age discrimination is a very real thing. To limit the possibility of discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, you should only include dates chronicling your work history on your resume. Graduation year and certification dates, as long as they’re still valid, should be left off as long. Your degree and qualifications matter, not when you got them.
You’ll also want to steer clear of other things that hint at your age. For example, using your school email address (an indication of a younger candidate) or including double spaces after periods (indicative of an older candidate).
Your address also has the potential to keep you from landing your dream job. Hiring managers may skip over a non-local candidate for fear of having to pay relocation costs or, in the case of remote work, managing a time difference. Especially now, with remote or hybrid positions becoming increasingly popular, where you live is irrelevant.
Your resume should only feature relevant jobs, both in terms of the types of positions and dates they were held. It shouldn’t list every job you’ve ever had. A good rule of thumb is to only include jobs from the last 10 years that would be of interest to your new employer. Don’t let your value experience get lost in the shuffle!
It’s 2021 and you’re expected to know how to use most of Microsoft Office so there’s no need to include it in your skills section. If you’re including a skills section in your resume at all. There was a time when knowledge of basic computer programs may have been novel, but that time is long past. Instead, if you’re applying to jobs in specialized fields, like tech, focus on computer languages and skills that will truly set you apart from other applicants.
“References available upon request”
Don’t waste space by stating a given. Unless the application specifically asks for references, in which case you should include them upfront, an employer will ask when they’re ready. References usually aren’t necessary until after your interview.
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