Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Are You As Old and Outdated As Your Resume Looks

After spending the past few years in and out of the job market, I am now in a position where I am working to help others find a new job or career.

As a Job Counselor (trainee) with NCBA, I work exclusively with people 55 years old and older who have been unemployed for a period of time. What I have discovered, in a relatively short period of time, is I am definitely in the MINORITY when it comes to being up to date on the latest trends in job hunting. Yes, I admit I struggled 10 years ago when I was first introduced to the concept of online networking and social media. I spent many frustrating days and nights trying to understand my computer but today,I am proud to say I have reached the ADVANCED LEVEL can hang with the best of the Millennials and GenXers.

This particular post is about the importance of making yourself look your very best for the job you are seeking----and it all starts with a resume. That piece of paper can put you in the over-the-hill category or make you shine like a superstar.

Here are some tips on how to update your resume:

1. Make sure you are up to date on your industry's technology.
Be aware that technology terms are often used as keywords to filter out the best resumes from electronic databases. If your resume doesn't have them, it may never be seen. Check multiple job descriptions within your industry to see what technologies employers really want. Determine which technologies are missing from your resume. Then decide what you need to learn or do to fill that technology gap. Consider adult-education classes, college classes, or online learning.

2. Make sure your resume is using current terminology.
If you have just been adding to the same old resume over the years, your early entries may be using outdated terms. One way to bring your resume up to date is through publications from your industry's professional associations. If you don't belong to any professional associations, you might be missing out on the latest lingo.

3. Make sure your resume reflects today's trends in resume format and style.
Some of the old resume rules just don't apply any more. For example:

Old Rule: Limit your resume to one page. New Approach: This is a really old idea that limits your ability to show all of your skills and expertise.

Old Rule: End your resume with References Available Upon Request. New Approach: You don't need to say that; it's assumed.

Old Rule: You should show every job you have ever held and give each equal importance. New Approach: The main portion of your employment history should only go back as far as it related to your current employment objectives. Think of your resume as a marketing piece that highlights the best parts rather than as a tell-all. For some years, experts have recommended that your resume should go back no more than 10 years. Because of background checks, however, it's best to include your full employment history, placing older experience in a section title "Previous Professional Experience," in which dates of employment are optional.

Don't let your resume make you look old and outdated and good luck in your job search.