It's important to give the perception that you're up-to-date with current standards, practices, and technology in your job search, especially if you're in the last half of your career. Recruiters don't get too excited about candidates who seem behind the times. That said, here are 10 things that can make you look out of touch in today's world:
Objectives are outdated - recruiters are more interested in what you have to offer than what you want, so don't waste valuable space telling people what you're looking for. After all, if you're applying for a specific position, THAT is supposed to be what you're looking for. (Use your cover letter if you're not applying for something specific.)
References Available Upon Request
If recruiters want references, they'll ask for them - regardless of whether you have this line at the bottom of your resume. No one reads it and thinks, "Awesome, THIS candidate has references so he's at the top of the list!" Leave it off and have a list of professional references ready and available (and get recommendations on your LinkedIn profile).
Times New Roman
Many years ago, pretty much everyone used Times New Roman on their resume, as it was the default font on Microsoft Word. These days, it's no longer the default and many recruiters are tired of seeing it (just do a Google search for best resume font). If you're using it, it'll look like you last updated your resume 20 years ago.
Job-seekers used to love functional resume formats - you know, the kind where you can combine your skills and achievements from all your jobs together under common headings, and then simply list your work history after? Then eventually most people came to realize that recruiters don't like them. Stick with reverse chronological.
AOL Email Address
Back in the day, we all had the AOL disks and dial-up connections - and the old AOL email addresses. But that was a long, long time ago, and if you haven't noticed, things have changed. AOL is no longer the go-to email service provider. If recruiters see an AOL email address on a resume, they will estimate your age and it won't be favorable.
Interests and Hobbies
Listing your interests and hobbies at the end of a resume used to be a given, but after years and years of seeing things like "Reading, hanging out with friends, biking, hunting, and watching TV" - recruiters are tired of seeing it, In rare cases, it might add some value (perhaps if you're young with little experience), but most people should leave them off.
Phone: / Email:
I'm not saying don't put your phone number or email address on your resume - please don't think that. Of course they need to be there. However, there's no need to identify that it's a phone number or email address by putting Phone: and Email: in front of them. Everyone knows what a phone number and email address looks like.
Duties and Responsibilities
There is a time and place for listing duties & responsibilities on a resume (see here), but in most cases, it's not really adding value. If you're applying for jobs within your own industry, chances are the recruiter will already be very familiar with your duties and responsibilities. If so, focus on scope, obstacles, and achievements.
Recruiters can spot resume templates from a mile away - they're standard and extremely generic. They make you look like everyone else, which is exactly the opposite of what you want. You want to stand out, not blend in, so skip the template and show the recruiter that you didn't take the quickest, easiest route in crafting your resume.
No LinkedIn Profile
If you're job searching, you should be on LinkedIn. Most recruiters would expect you to have a profile, and in most cases they'd hope to see a link to your profile on your resume (customized URL, of course) so they don't have to search for you. Increasingly, they will expect to see some recommendations on there as well.
Recruiters and hiring managers look for all kinds of red flags when reviewing resumes - after all, they generally need to whittle a huge list down to a reasonable size - so take the time to check yours to make sure you're not being perceived as over the hill.
Best of luck!
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