Contrary to what you might think, summer is not a great time to slow down your job search. In fact, now’s a great time to really pick things up! While people take vacations and summer Fridays have people heading out for the weekend early (side note: best not to send any follow up emails on Friday), the working world doesn’t simply stop. Other applicants, however, may. Which means less competition, and a leg up for you.
Whether you’re in a desperate job search at the moment, or just starting to put feelers out, it’s time to take a good luck at your resume. If this is the first time you’ve pulled it up in years, there’s a good chance it’s outdated. Like most aspects of job searching, resume trends are constantly changing, so before submitting any applications it may be smart to check out what formats are still popular – and which aren’t.
Truth be told, resumes are more important than many people realize. Think of your resume as a first impression; just like in an interview, it’s imperative that you make sure your first impression is as impactful as possible – in a positive way, of course. In reality, hiring managers only look at each resume they receive for a few seconds (at most) before deciding whether or not the candidate is one they’d like to pursue.
So how do you know if your resume from years ago would catch a hiring manager’s eye today? Here are some signs your resume might be outdated, and how to fix it up:
- Your resume has a “Skills” section.
In the past, a list of keywords may have been beneficial for resume screening by computers, but recently this practice has been abandoned by most hiring managers. Instead of including a “Skills” section in your resume, try incorporating those keywords into your work experience. Think of it this way: describing a leadership position you have held and your accomplishments is much more powerful than listing “leadership” as a skill.
- You’ve included references.
Employers know that you “will provide references upon request,” but unless they actually do request references, there’s no need to provide them in your resume. This is just extraneous words on your resume that may distract from the very thing that might otherwise catch the hiring manager’s eye. Don’t muddle up your resume with information that the employer will ask for if needed – keep it clean and concise!
- You list every position you’ve ever held.
Chances are, your third employer won’t care what clubs you were a part of during your college years. Same goes for your summer job as a waitress at the pizza joint down the street from your house. Listing these positions makes your resume seem less professional; instead of listing all past employment, just keep the most relevant positions you’ve held and expand upon your achievements during those times.
- You note an objective.
Every applicant in an employer’s system has the same objective: getting the job. The company knows why you’re applying, so there’s no need for redundancy in your resume. In the same respect, dubbing yourself a “Professional in the Digital Media Industry” won’t tell a hiring manager anything they don’t already know from your experience.
- The resume has multiple fonts and graphics.
Unless you’re applying for a position in a creative industry, your “creative” resume most likely won’t impress employers. Adding graphics, colors, and crazy fonts can be extremely distracting to hiring managers, and will mostly send your resume to the bottom of the bunch. That being said, there are ways to utilize your creativity to make a beautiful resume! Go for a sleek, organized template in Times New Roman – classic is the new creative.
Is your new-and-improved resume ready? Click here to download Rake and send that beauty off to your potential future employers!
Also published on Medium.