Think carefully … when did you last update your resume? Or when did you first put it together? If you either can’t answer the questions or your response includes a date pre-Twitter, it may be time to make some changes.
Drop the objective; add a professional summary.
You no longer need to explain why and how you want to improve your skills and define the path of your career. Honestly, your objective is to get a job, so it really doesn’t do anything but take up room on a resume. Instead, use the top space on the page to give a written elevator pitch: Write a brief synopsis of your career, highlighting the skills and qualifications that make you stand out. It’s also a terrific place to add keywords from the job posting.
Using those keywords gets your resume noticed by either the human reader or the scanning software that so many companies use nowadays to filter out the resumes they want. As you look through the job description, see which words they repeat or highlight (they’ll usually focus on soft skills, requirements, and technical knowhow) and then find a way to work them into your own resume.
Avoid dating your education.
A good rule of thumb: Unless you graduated within the last fifteen years, don’t put your graduation date on your resume. Younger college grads may need to do this because they simply have less to add to the resume. But, fair or unfair, adding the date of graduation may lead to age discrimination, and you don’t want to create such a possibility.
Rethink what jobs you put.
You don’t need to put every job you’ve ever had. Employers typically like to look at the last fifteen years of employment; those are the most relevant. And if you’ve ever worked at a job in different functions (sales and IT, for example), feel free to split up your job experiences. Thus, you may want to have separate sections of professional history focusing on each set of skills, putting the more relevant ones first.
Drop the personal information.
Years ago, it was customary to add hobbies, places traveled, and even marital status and number of children. HR reps of today don’t want to see any of that – instead, keep it strictly professional.
Particularly if you haven’t had to search for a job in a while, make sure that you update your resume, so it looks modern and adheres to today’s standards. For advice on how best to do this, work with PrideStaff.