Resume Tips (Part 2 of 2)

Back again for another look at some general resume do’s and don’ts.
I’m often asked – or told – “Resumes have changed so much over the years.  What to I need to do the make it past the software that’ll screen me out?”
First of all, let me dispel the myth about software.  Well, at least for the time being.  Very, very few companies can afford the level of software sophistication that’ll screen you in/out before a set of company eyes will look at the resume/application.  Most all companies use recruiters to quickly sift through the stack to determine which folks they’ll contact.
Granted, many companies use “knock out” or “scoring” questions such as “Are your 18 years of age or older?”  Or, “Do you have a college degree (or HS diploma)?”  I’ll get deeper into these questions in another blog.
Back to resumes and “changes” over the years.  It’s still about key words and accomplishments.  There are some changes to the layout you may want to incorporate.  Drop the word “Objective” at the top.  Frankly, no one cares about what you want. An employer wants to know what you’ll bring to them.
At the bottom of your resume, drop the “References Available Upon Request” and “Salary is Negotiable” wording.  Not needed.
Other changes I’d like to see you consider would be to remove your street from the top portion of the resume.  No one will send you a post card to “thank you” for applying these days.  Just give them your city, state, ZIP… especially if it helps make you look local.  If you’re applying for an out of state job, then leave your address off.  It’ll be part of your online application, however.
If you’re on LinkedIn and your profile makes you look good, then add your personal profile URL to the top of your resume.  Think of it this way – you are a product going to market.  Your LinkedIn page is, in effect, your company’s website.  So you’ll want to drive people to that site.  They’ll see your background and what others are saying about you – testimonials/recommendations.  Very important!
Another change you’ll want to weigh is whether to drop your date of education.  At 57, there’s no way I put 1982 on my college.  The only date I’d keep would be if I’d gone back to earn a more recent degree.  This would help me look more contemporary… more up-to-date.  Otherwise, it just makes me look old.
I always used to be the youngest doing whatever I’d tried.  Oh well…  My experiences give a good perspective for all ages reading this.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
In future blogs I’ll dig deeper into specific concerns about things like age, multiple jobs, gaps in employment, career changes, etc.  Please contact me if you have topics you’d like to be discussed.  Good luck!