5 Ways Your Resume Makes You Look Out Of Touch


5 Ways Your Resume Makes You Look Out Of Touch

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer
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.

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.”

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.

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 If you're using an outdated form of Microsoft Word on an old computer and send your resume as a .doc file, you risk pegging yourself as out-of-touch, Bowitz says.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.

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.

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.

Appearing Ageless on a Resume

Show you're up-to-date with the times, and age shouldn't matter

Businessman with resume

Matt Tarpey, CareerBuilder writer

The world moves pretty fast, and smart employers recognize that they need to be ready to innovate and adapt at a moment's notice. But this focus on rapid evolution has many older employees worrying that their age may be having a negative effect on their ability to land promising new jobs.

We spoke to several experts for tips about how job seekers can appear ageless on their resumes.

Focus on what matters
One simple and straightforward way to downplay your age is to remove graduation dates from your resume. Of course, this omission is not likely to go unnoticed. "If you do choose this option, you must be prepared to answer the question: Gee, where's your date of graduation? Or, why did you leave it off the resume?" Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide points out.

When questions like these come up, Cohen suggests bringing the focus back to the job. He even offers a template response: 'I left it off intentionally. My recent experience and skills are so strong that I didn't want to clutter the resume with unnecessary information that would distract from my potential to hit the ground running immediately.'" Responses like this not only address the age issue, but also demonstrate confidence in your own ability.

Get with the times
Resumes are all about first impressions, and a savvy recruiter or hiring manager may be able to estimate your age based on your resume before even seeing your graduation date. "The key to appearing 'ageless' or 'with the times' would be in how you brand yourself in your resume," says Noelle Gross, career coach and founder of Noelle Gross Career Strategy. "There are resume design services that will make your resume stand out as being amongst the most modern in the stack of resumes. Perception is everything so having some cutting edge design can really work in your favor."

For more information on how to modernize your resume, check out this article or head over to CB-Resume for a more in-depth analysis of your resume needs.

Stay in the present
One of the chief concerns employers may have with hiring older workers is their ability or willingness to change their habits to keep up with modernization. "In order to downplay your age, an applicant needs to be forward-thinking. This means they would need a firm grasp of new technologies, social media and an online portfolio," says Patrice Rice, CEO of Patrice & Associates. "Overall, his or her drive for self-improvement needs to be apparent."

Demonstrate to employers that your age doesn't affect your ability to stay current. Maintain an active social media presence and stay up to date with new technologies in your industry. "When these qualities are highlighted, an employer will look less at age and more at the candidate's drive to evolve," adds Rice.

Update your email account
You're probably already aware of the importance of having an appropriate email address, but that's not necessarily all that hiring managers will notice. "When you email your resume, one of the first things the recruiter will see is your email address," says Laura Gmeinder, career coach at Laura Gmeinder Coaching & Consulting, LLC. "What does your email address reveal about your age? I recommend getting a new email address either branding yourself with a domain or setting up a gmail account or the like. Remember to keep it professional!"

Remember, employers generally aren't concerned about your age in and of itself, but rather it's potential implications. Show them that you're up to date on modern professional trends and new technologies, and you can dispel their concerns and refocus the conversation on why you are the perfect candidate for them.