Many of us wrote our first resume in college and through the years, we just kept adding more jobs, more skills, and more education.
Resume styles, formats, and language change over the years. It’s like fashion styles. You wouldn’t wear plaid bell bottoms or a poodle skirt to a job interview. Make sure your resume isn’t out of fashion. A resume with any of the below warning styles, can make you appear old, out of touch, and dated.
Is there an “Objective” statement at the top of your resume?
- If the answer is yes, you need an overhaul. Even removing the objective statement probably won’t be enough to meet the standards of a modern resume, since the content in the top 1/3 of the resume is so critical. (It needs to be replaced with branding statements and content that showcases your qualifications.)
Is your resume font Times New Roman – or does the resume have Comic Sans anywhere on it?
- While both of these might indicate a “dated” look, the answer may be as simple as selecting all the text and choosing a more modern body font (Calibri, Tahoma). But having one of these fonts on your resume may also be a sign that the whole document needs a fresh approach.
- Font choice can be a sign that your resume may need an overhaul. Dated fonts may be a symptom that you need to do more than simply selecting new fonts.
Are you using a functional resume format?
- Functional resumes — which use a format that focuses more on skills than on chronological work experience — have lost favor in recent years because they are not often compatible with how applicant tracking systems (ATS) parse (or organize) data. Because the format often omits employment dates — and may not even list specific jobs or employers — the resume data may not populate the fields correctly in some ATS software. In addition, many recruiters and hiring managers don’t like functional formats.
- Even a chrono-functional, hybrid, or combination format may not work with some ATS software. But more importantly, a resume using one of these formats may be deemed to be “out of date” or “not modern.” There are more appropriate ways to highlight skills and accomplishments even when the work history may not be very appealing in a strictly chronological sense.
Has your existing resume gotten too long?
- Resume length isn’t cut-and-dry. Resumes in some professions run 3-4 pages on the low end. But if your resume is 3 pages because it includes 25 years of work experience in excruciating detail, it may be time to start completely from scratch. The reason is: If you’ve just constantly added new positions without thinking through the strategy of what you’re including on your resume, it may be best to reinvent it.
Does your resume have a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” appearance?
- This is common if you had your resume professionally written and designed, but you’ve since tried to keep it up to date yourself. Especially for beautiful, modern designs, it can be difficult to add information without affecting the formatting. In this case, you may only need a simple update, but you should probably return to the original creator to ensure that the integrity of the content and formatting remain intact.
If you see any of these warning signs, schedule an Activate Your Resume Review session with Madelyn.