The job market is a continuously evolving space, and hiring manager expectations shift regularly. As a result, if you’re relying on outdated resume tips, it can negatively affect your application.
When your resume seems antiquated, it makes you seem behind the times. Plus, it could give clues about your age. While age discrimination isn’t legal, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. As a result, it’s best to avoid creating an opportunity for it to occur.
Fortunately, fixing your resume is simple. Here’s a look at some outdated resume tips and what to do instead.
Having an Objective Statement
Objective statements at the top of resumes were viewed as essential, but they’ve since fallen out of favor. Mainly, attitude toward them shifted since they don’t provide hiring managers with much value. Objective statements simply state what you’re after, so it doesn’t give hiring managers any significant amount of information regarding what you bring to the table.
Instead of an objective statement, go with a professional summary. That gives the hiring manager details about your capabilities and an achievement or two, making it more meaningful to them.
Discussing Duties in Your Work History
Another old-school piece of resume advice was to outline your duties when you write up your work history. While this approach did let hiring managers know what you did while in the role, it didn’t provide much information about the strength of your various capabilities.
As a result, modern resumes don’t list duties; they discuss achievements. Accomplishments show the hiring manager how you leverage your skills to deliver results, making that approach far more impactful.
Overly Stylistic Formatting
Relatively recently, certain stylistic formatting choices were touted as a way to catch the hiring manager’s eye. Different colors and several fonts were relatively popular. Using a column format that puts specific information on the left or right-hand side of your resume – such as your contact details or skills list – is, at times, still included as a recommendation by some.
However, overly stylistic formatting often works against you. Most companies do initial automated resume screenings using an application tracking system (ATS). The issue is that an ATS may remove any colors you added, making them a waste of time. Additionally, they may struggle to read specific artistic fonts or might improperly categorize details in columns. If that occurs, the ATS might not see everything you included correctly, which can cause it to label your resume as a poor match by mistake.
Instead, keep your formatting standardized and simple. Don’t use different colors, add tables, include images, or rely on columns. Stick with a more traditional format with easy-to-read fonts – such as Arial or Calibri – to ensure it’s scannable by an ATS.
Stating References Are Available
At one point, having a statement saying references were available upon request was commonplace on resumes. Today, having that written on a resume feels antiquated and unnecessary. Hiring managers know you’ll provide references if they ask, so saying so on your application just means you’re wasting space. Since that’s the case, leave that statement off and use the room to ensure the rest of your resume is enticing.
Ultimately, all of the outdated resume tips above can hurt your job prospects.
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If you’d like to learn more about how to write a standout resume or are searching for opportunities, Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.