If you've been in the workforce for a while and are thinking of looking for a new job, you'll want to make sure that your resume doesn't make you look out of touch with today's workplace. Age discrimination is, of course, illegal, but it's still a good idea to make sure your resume gives the right impression about your skills and experience.
Scott Vedder, author of "Signs of a Great Resume," says he once saw a job candidate whose resume made him look completely out of touch: It listed the names and Social Security numbers of each of his six grandchildren. "It's never appropriate to talk about your age or family status on a resume," Vedder says. "And it's certainly not appropriate to send a recruiter your family members' Social Security numbers!"
You probably haven't made that mistake, but consider these other ways your resume may be making you look out of touch.
1. An epic work history
There's no getting around it: If you've been in the workforce a long time, you'll have a long work history. Keep in mind, though, that you don't need to list every job you've ever had — especially early ones that are no longer relevant.
Frame your experience as a benefit: "Recruiters frequently look for candidates with a proven history of success," Vedder says. "Look for hints in the job posting which indicate a company is searching for a 'seasoned executive,' a 'mature leader,' or an 'established professional' or for jobs which require '10+ years' experience. Then give specific examples to explain why your background makes you a great fit for the job."
2. Your social media presence
For most jobs it's OK to leave social media information off your resume, but hiring managers may still search for you online to get more information. You want them to find a strong presence that makes you look dynamic and engaged. "Even if your Facebook or Google+ profile is set to private, people can still see your main profile picture," says Erik Bowitz of Resume Genius.
Make a great impression by choosing an attractive, professional photo. If you decide to be a little more public with your social media, make posts that show you're plugged in to your industry by sharing timely articles and interesting news.
3. Your file format
Even the type of file you send your resume as can make you look out of touch. If you're using an outdated form of Microsoft Word on an old computer and send your resume as a .doc file, you risk pegging yourself as out-of-touch, Bowitz says.
Beyond keeping your own tools up to date, there's no universal "right way" here. Your best bet is to find out which format is best for each employer and their application system and and use that.
4. Outdated phrases
Resumes have evolved over the years and things like "references available upon request" can make you look less than current, says Alyssa Gelbard of Resume Strategists Inc. "Another giveaway is if they have a separate 'Interests' section that includes things like travel, cooking and reading."
Cut the fat from your resume and keep it focused on skills and experience. In addition, highlight the value you can bring to the company.
5. Signs of being stuck in a tech time warp
Not having a personal email address is a mistake, says Tony Palm, president of Military Professionals LLC. He adds that listing proficiency in Microsoft Office, "the Web," or other standard office technology don't make you look current.
Brush up on your tech terminology to ensure you're making the right impression. Consider a class that can help you get up to speed on what you need to know.
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