If it has been some time since you’ve changed jobs, I suspect you may find your old resume ineffective in your current search. Just like dating after a long hiatus, the game has changed and so should your resume. Below are several misnomers and common questions I receive from candidates with varied levels of experience.
Do I need my graduation date(s)?
I often hear concern that including graduation date(s) on a resume will make a candidate “seem old” and vice versa. Fortunately graduation dates are no longer required and I recommend everyone omit them from their resumes. Employers’ job requirements ask, “do you have a degree?” which is easily answered yes or no. Including a graduation date does not provide any additional necessary information.
The Objective Statement is dead
Objective statements are a thing of the past. The worst are always, “To secure gainful employment at [fill in the blank].” Statements like this don’t tell hiring managers anything worthwhile. Instead, I suggest a brief professional summary such as three sentences highlighting your accomplishments and value you’d bring to their position opening. Cover your years of experience and major areas of expertise.
How many pages can I have?
If you have been in the workforce for a while, your resume may be quite lengthy and possibly cumbersome. A good general rule of thumb is one page for every ten years of professional experience. I recommend tailoring your resume to focus on your most recent, say, 15 years of experience and then briefly summarizing your early experience. For example,
Sisters of Mercy, St. Louis, MO
Manager, Department of Case Management
Nurse Manager, Pediatrics
Staff Nurse, NICU
This example would cover the candidate’s early professional experience and demonstrates his upward mobility without taking up a whole page.
What’s with the social media thing? Do I need that on my resume?
I do recommend adding your custom LinkedIn profile URL on your resume. Wait, what? Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? You’re behind in the game. LinkedIn profiles are both a candidate’s and a recruiter’s most powerful tool in today’s job market. It’s a place to showcase your professional experience in as much length as you’d like plus organizations you support, side gigs, publications, and all of LinkedIn’s other categories.
Give recruiters the green light to contact you. Under Account Settings, Communications, and “Select the types of messages you’re willing to receive,” make sure you’ve selected you’re open to “Career Opportunities” so that recruiters know you want to hear from them.
Leave all other social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter off your resume.
What about personal details?
Leave all of them, marital status, date of birth, hobbies, etc. off your resume. Recruiters don’t and shouldn’t care and all the focus should be on your professional qualifications. A better place for them is your LinkedIn profile, which is a personal social media profile with space exactly for this information.
Good luck re-vamping your resume and in your job search!