I had spent hours crafting a zazzy, playful, and most importantly, CURRENT resumé. There was a time and a place for quirky phrasing, but maybe this wasn’t it. You may have been class president in high school, but that’s not as important as the presentation you gave last week. She didn’t want to be harsh, but…maybe colors and fonts and boxes weren’t portraying me as professional? I didn’t need wild font choices, and I didn’t need to “revolutionize” the resumé format with visuals. Update your resumé to cover only the last 10-15 years. I sent my glistening new creation to a trusted friend for feedback, and on the other end of the email, I got…crickets. Things change FAST these days, and my two-page behemoth wasn’t cutting it. Luckily, updating my resumé for 2014 didn’t have to be that hard. These days, potential employers still want to be able to skim your resumé for the important stuff. Or, ditch that paragraph entirely and use up that space to show your accomplishments, saving the explanations for the cover letter. I left college less than 5 years ago, but I was already displaying dinosaur-like tendencies. And sure, resumés have changed since I took “Intro to Professional Writing” as a freshman, but my sunny, graphic take on the new resumé had missed the mark. Sure, being succinct was always important on resumés. Instead of talking about your objectives, give a brief “so what” statement about who you are and what makes you right for the job.Uh oh, the last 10-15 years have a few (explainable, but complicated) bumps?
If you did astoundingly well in school, use terms instead of numbers, like “summa cum laude” or “with Honors.” Good news.
Look, times have changed since we wrote our first resumés, but words still trump pictures in the world of job searches.
Images take up space that you need for talking about your skills and qualifications, and who knows how they would print out or appear on the recruiter’s screen?
If you’ve been out of college for a couple years (as we’ll assume you have, since you’re worried about being outdated), there’s no need to add your graduation year.
It allows potential employers to date you (and judge you based on your age) before they’ve gotten an unbiased sense of your experience and qualifications. Instead of calling yourself names, try talking about what you do.