My experience as a recruiter is that people spend far too much time tinkering with their resume. Each “rejection” often leads to one course of action: a revisiting of the resume and seeking guidance on how it can be improved. This issue is compounded because every person they speak with will provide different advice. Typically none of the advice is wrong however the re-writing takes on the proportions of a major thesis.
Such time would usually be better spent on searching for the next position instead of creating version 42 in search of the perfect CV.
BUT how do you tell if your resume does need an update? Leslie Ayres is an executive recruiter and she provides a list of 5 indicators of the need for a refresh. If any of these signs apply to you, it might be worthwhile to take some time to do an update.
1. The resume starts with an objective.
She suggests ‘Objectives’ to be out of date and a waste of space. Simple.
2. It is written in corporate-speak.
Get rid of the acronyms, jargon and flowery expressions and make the resume professional and to the point.
3. It just outlines information instead of accomplishments.
You should avoid providing a long list of tasks and responsibilities. Employers would rather know what you accomplished rather than how you occupied your time.
4. It is done in Times New Roman with no attention to design or layout.
It is now so easy to provide a clean, sharp, modern design. Have a look at the crispness and style used in marketing material and on websites. Yet people still use tired Times New Roman, and without any regard to formatting. It is also common to find a resume where the more recent additions use a different font and format to earlier information. Just plain sloppy and a poor impression.
5. It goes back too far.
I still fondly recall the resume of a guy in his late 50’s who had a list of career achievements which included being selected as a milk monitor in primary school. Needless to say his resume was 20+ pages – instead of the 3 or 4 pages we recommend. Employers are most interested in the last 10 years and while they’d like to view your overall career history, they typically don’t need to see the finer details beyond this 10 year mark.
You can read Leslie’s full article titled ‘5 Signs Your Resume is Over the Hill’ by clicking here.