Resume preparationResume preparation has become a hot topic.  How do I prepare my resume?  What information should I include?  How long should my resume be?  How do I make mine stand out in the sea of resumes inundating the recruiter’s desk?  If you have not submitted a resume in the past few years, it’s a whole new ballgame. Here are the top five outdated resume techniques still in use today.  If you’re using any of these, it’s time to make the move into the present and add a new spark to your job search.

Past:  References available upon request.

This line has been included on resumes from the dawn of time.  There is no longer a need to state the obvious.  Today’s hiring managers assume that you will provide references upon request.  Should you submit references along with your application or resume? No.  Recruiters will only check the references of their top candidates.  Many interviewees will submit a letter of recommendation or letter of reference that they have copied many times over from a previous employer or colleague.  Most interviewers will place the paper in a file, never to be looked at again.  When called for an interview, be sure that you have the names and current contact information for your most recent supervisors.  Eliminate the line and save space.

Past: Submit the same resume for all jobs.

Nothing will speed the trip from receipt to reject pile faster then not tailoring your resume for the position you’re applying to.  For example, if you work as a retail manager and you’re applying for a human resources position, talking about sales figures in your resume will not help.  You need to highlight the tasks that are applicable to working in human resources including interviewing, hiring and training.  It’s an employer’s job market these days when it comes to picking and choosing candidates.  If your resume does not reflect any of the desired skill sets, you might as well throw in the towel.  Take a look at the job post for the position.  Identify the key skills and provide that information on your resume.  If you have a sentence stating your objective, make sure that is updated to fit the company that particular resume is going to.  You don’t want the recruiter to read that you are looking to improve your sales knowledge, if you’re applying for a job in Human Resources.

Past:  Use special paper to print your resume.

Money is tight; don’t waste it printing multiple copies of your resume.  First, your resume needs to be tailored to each position you’re applying to.  Second, most companies now use electronic resume submission.  Print off one or two good copies to take with you on the day of an interview.

Past:  List every position you have ever held.

Space on a resume is limited.  Think quality instead of quantity.  If you’ve held a number of positions, use a functional resume. Highlight your skills and accomplishments as the major body of your resume. List the positions that you’ve held at the bottom.  This will draw the attention to your job knowledge, skills and accomplishments.

Past: List personal information on a resume.

Choose professionalism or the personal touch.  Do not include family information; it’s not applicable to the job.  Do not include your social security number.  Most recruiters do not shred rejected resumes, they simply end up in the trash.  Only include hobbies if they are applicable to the position.  Do list any associations or certifications.

The business of submitting resumes has changed drastically.  Companies receive thousands of resumes daily.  Computers are now doing the initial screening.  The software programs are designed to search for keywords that are specific to the job opening.  By updating your resume with a few new techniques, you can increase your success in the job search market.