Building a better resume starts with letting go of old resume ideas from years past. When starting your job hunt, don't just add your most recent work experience to the end of your old resume. Instead, start over from scratch, crafting a modern resume to better meet your needs. If your current CV matches any of these descriptions, consider a major overhaul.
1. The Photo Resume
Headshots are for models and actors. Leave them off your professional resume. At best, your photo makes you look naive about how the hiring process works. At worst, your photo could lead to discrimination based on gender, age or appearance.
2. The Generic Resume
Don't send in a generic resume that sounds like everyone else's. Build a better resume by focusing on your unique qualifications for the job. Show the company what makes you different from other candidates.
3. The Poorly Formatted Resume
Make sure your resume is easy to read and has the right amount of white space. Use bullet lists, indenting and spacing to keep your information organized and easily scannable by busy hiring managers.
4. The Objective Resume
Don't waste valuable resume space by listing an objective. For a better resume, include a brief professional summary instead. If you need to elaborate more, you can do it in your cover letter or at the interview.
5. The Stuffed Resume
An ideal resume is a single page, but be careful not to pack too much information onto that single page. Leave enough white space so that your resume doesn't appear messy. If you are a professional with extensive experience in your field, it's better to include two uncluttered pages than a single unreadable page.
6. The Empty Resume
Don't send out a resume that is mostly white space. If you don't have much experience, include relevant volunteer work, school projects and skills lists to round it out.
7. The Keyword Resume
Although it's best practice to add a few keywords from the job description to your resume, avoid stuffing it with tons of keywords. Too many keywords make it hard for hiring managers to scan your resume, and applicant-tracking software may exclude resumes with an overabundance of keywords.
8. The Irrelevant-Info Resume
Write a better resume by leaving off irrelevant portions of your job history and hobbies not directly related to your work. Focus on those experiences that show your unique qualifications for the position for which you are applying.
9. The Nonsocial Resume
Every modern resume needs to include at least one link to a professional social media account. LinkedIn is a good choice — just be sure to keep your online information up-to-date.
10. The Old Resume
Even if you're in a hurry, resist the temptation to send out the 10-year-old resume you have saved in a folder on your computer. It shouldn't take long to craft a better resume that shows your true worth and is in line with modern standards.
Sending a useless resume to a hiring manager is not much better than sending in no resume at all. Speed up your job hunt by drafting a better resume following contemporary guidelines to show how you are a great fit for each position that you apply for.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net