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Friday, May 26, 2006
Is Your Resume Moldy?
“I used this resume to get my current job five years ago but now it’s not working. I don’t understand what’s wrong!” What’s wrong is that a resume has a shelf-life just like a jug of milk or a loaf of bread. A resume that worked five years ago, or even three years ago, probably won’t work in today’s market. Many people don’t understand this simple fact and get upset when the old resume they have used before, or even used since college, no longer wins interviews for them.

Resumes change over time to meet the changing demands of hiring managers. Prior to the early nineties, hiring managers needed resumes that were one page in length because they had to be stored in filing cabinets. Resumes of more than one page took up more space! With the advent of the PC in common use in offices, and especially with the coming of age of email and the Internet, it suddenly didn’t matter if a resume was one or two pages because they weren’t stored in metal filing cabinets but rather on hard drives or disks. The Internet and the online job board brought about a true use for longer resumes – the advantage of keyword richness that was gained by longer documents. And page length is just one aspect of resumes that has changed!

With privacy in the Information Age becoming a serious consideration, many job seekers are choosing to leave their street address off the resume in an effort to better protect themselves from identity thieves. The inclusion of certain information and the exclusion of other information is a major change in resumes. Personal information, hobbies, and interests are no longer included on a resume but multi-lingualism is now considered a benefit. Office skills such as keyboarding speed are no longer included but software proficiency is.

If you are using a resume that has not had a major overhaul within the last two years, you are approaching your job search from behind the pack. The market is different today than it was just three years ago. Demands of hiring managers are different. Technology has changed. Visual design of resumes has changed somewhat with new, more inventive and creative designs coming from the imaginative minds of professional writers. New buzzwords abound and the world has changed in terms of global view and outlook. A resume that worked three years ago might very well achieve no results today.

The change in the market and flux in demands of hiring managers often make consulting “how-to” resume books or college career offices a waste of time. Once printed, the book is fixed in time as are the suggestions made about design, content, and information. If you are consulting a resume book that is three years old or older, you are using an out-of-date reference. College career offices tend to be poor sources for information, too, because the staff members of the offices tend not to get out in the “real world” very much. They launch graduates out into the world but don’t receive much return business that can provide them with first-hand information about market conditions.

Don’t approach your job search using an old resume to which you have simply added the latest information. It’s like painting an old door without scraping the old paint off and priming it. It’s a Band-Aid effect and will not work effectively.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 /


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