Are Resumes Too Old-Fashioned for Today's Job Market?

Nancy Anderson
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If you are searching for a job, there is a good chance you had to dust off your old-fashioned resume and update it with your most recent employment information. A traditional resume typically contains a list of past employers and a summary of qualifications. Although this information is helpful, it does not necessarily help hiring managers find the best employees.

An old-fashioned resume does not give much insight into a candidate's personality, making it difficult for hiring managers to make good decisions. In some cases, finding the right fit is even more important than finding someone with the right skills. It is possible to overcome skill deficiencies by taking classes or observing other workers, but there is not much you can do to change your personality.

For candidates with decades of experience, it is almost impossible to use an old-fashioned resume effectively. Even if you remove some of the jobs from your resume, two pages is simply not enough space to tell hiring managers about everything you have accomplished in your career. Because an old-fashioned resume is basically a list of qualifications and work experience, there is also nowhere to list your institutional knowledge or talk about your extensive list of industry contacts.

Another problem with the old-fashioned resume is that it is difficult to format one in a way that shows off your best qualifications. Additionally, every resume is a little different, so it is difficult for hiring managers to compare two candidates side by side. One candidate might put her educational achievements after her employment history, while the other candidate might put his educational qualifications at the top of the document.

Instead of using an old-fashioned resume, you may want to develop a significant presence on social media. Recruiters often check LinkedIn, industry-specific groups and Facebook before reaching out to candidates. A robust LinkedIn profile is a good substitute for an old-fashioned resume because it blends biographical information with blog posts and endorsements that can help you prove your worth as an employee.

New resume styles are slowly replacing the old-fashioned resume. Some employers now ask applicants to submit video resumes instead of text-based resumes. A video resume is a good opportunity to show off your presentation skills and show potential employers you have a professional demeanor. Some applicants are also submitting infographic resumes, which are eye-catching documents designed to capture attention. Although these resume styles are gaining in popularity, some hiring managers still want applicants to submit traditional resumes.

Despite advances in technology and changes in the way companies recruit employees, many hiring managers still want applicants to submit traditional resumes. If you have to submit an old-fashioned resume, supplement it with a well-written cover letter that gives the hiring manager some insight into your personality. Maintain a professional social media presence so recruiters can find out more about you if your resume piques their interest.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Yvena thanks for your comment and question. For every job posted, a company will receive a minimum of a thousand resumes. That's a lot for companies that, ten years ago, would only receive a handful of resumes for a job posted. The companies just don't have the money, time, or resources to follow up with every application although I am sure that they wish they could. I would say that the first thing is that your resume doesn't contain the keywords from the job posting. That is typically the first step in the elimination process. Most companies will hold on to your resume for 6 months in case another position comes up for which you are more qualified. So it's not a wasted effort on your part. Just keep applying and you will get there!

  • Yvena H.
    Yvena H.

    Everything you wrote in the article is so true. I have written my resume all the ways you have mentioned and I have even left out some jobs or only put up to the last three jobs I have had. But my question is why when they do look at your resume and you do not have what they are looking for, why wont they drop you a short note letting you know they did look at your resume, thank you for your interest in their company and the position but you do not fit the criteria they are looking for?

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