Five Characteristics of an Outdated Resume

I constantly come across the same five outdated resume-writing methods, which keep getting passed down from generation to generation of job seekers. It's time to break the cycle and dispel some common resume-writing myths once and for all.

1. Keep the resume to one page.

Whether you have a one-page resume or a 300-page resume, no one is reading it word for word. They are skimming it. Your job isn't to squeeze as much information as possible onto one page; it's to prudently edit the content to focus on shining accomplishments and the most relevant content.

Sometimes this takes one page; sometimes it takes two pages. Just because something is on one page doesn't make it easier to read. Aim for a user-friendly design strategy with clean lines and information that is easy to find, and stop getting so caught up in the length of the document.

2. Always include an objective.

An objective is of no use to a hiring manager. It doesn't tell them how you will fix their problems or the unique value you can bring to the company. It's generally all about you and what you want in your next job. And hiring managers don't really care about what you want. Explain how you can ease their pain, up front at the beginning of the resume, and increase your chances of getting an interview.

3. Never add color to a resume.

Years ago, color wasn't really an option on a resume. Today, color, shading, bold, and other design elements can be incorporated into a resume quickly and easily to make key information stand out. Have you ever read a marketing brochure that used graphic design and other visual elements to improve their messaging? Make no mistake ...your resume is a marketing brochure. Why shouldn't you use similar design techniques to get noticed by hiring managers?

4. Left justify dates of employment.

Dates were left justified when people were writing resumes on typewriters and there was really no better way to do it. If your resume looks like it was done on a typewriter, that's a problem within itself. Beyond that, left justifying dates is a poor use of valuable space on a resume. Right-justify employment dates and save that space for more important information about the value you bring to employers.

5. List references on your resume.

This may have made sense if you were conducting a search prior to 1999. But now, no one is going to solely rely on the references you list on a resume. Most hiring managers Google candidates before ever calling them in for an interview. They don't need to look at the references you supply; they can dig up all kinds of information about you online.

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