No E-mail Address: In today’s technology-driven world, submission of a resume without an e-mail address is a surefire way to limit your chances of getting a response. In the past, most employers would contact candidates via phone or postal mail. But the likelihood of a company using snail mail to request an interview is slim to none. Due to the high response rate received for job openings, HR professionals find it more efficient to contact candidates via e-mail. So, be sure to include a professional e-mail address on your resume (ex. email@example.com) and check that account often. Remember to check your junk inbox regularly just in case you receive an unrecognized e-mail from a potential employer.
References: Including a phrase such as “References available upon request” is perhaps the most common offense found on outdated resumes. It’s a waste of space and an unnecessary inclusion. Employers know that you’ll provide references if requested. You don’t have to say it. It is also important to note that references should only be submitted when requested by the employer. Don’t send references with your resume unless instructed in the job posting.
Title: It was a very antiquated tradition to place a title at the top of the resume. Job seekers would write “Resume of…” so that employers would know what they were receiving. Instead of titling your resume on the actual document, use the file name to clearly indicate what you’re sending. A simple file name is suggested (ex. FirstNameLastNameResume.doc).
Outdated Tech Skills: Today’s employers aren’t really concerned about your ability to use DOS, typewriters, or fax machines. If your resume makes reference to any outdated forms of technology that aren’t heavily used anymore, be sure to remove such references immediately. You should be able to replace old forms of technology with new computer systems and software. If you haven’t updated your technical skills, consider taking a continuing education course so that the technical skills listed on your resume will be modern and not antiquated.
Resume Paper: When resumes were primarily mailed to employers, it was expected to have your resume printed on the finest quality of resume paper. However, most resumes today are e-mailed or posted on Internet job boards. If you are still printing your resume on special paper and mailing it, you’re wasting valuable time and money. Unless mailing is required, you should always submit your resume in an electronic format. There are some times when a printed resume is needed, i.e. a job fair or a first interview, however, standard white printing paper works just fine.
Cramming: The old rule of a one-page resume forced many job seekers to cram everything onto one-page. Avoid using extremely small fonts and tiny margins just to stay on one page. An easy-to-read document is more important that having it all on one page. It’s perfectly fine to have a two-page resume in today’s market, as long as the content is relevant.
Do you have any career advancement or job seeking issues you’d like addressed? E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Aisha Taylor (@realTAYLORmade) is co-owner and chief consultant at TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting, a Web-based, full-service career consulting company committed to “equipping, preparing, and empowering today’s professional” globally. Check out her weekly insights on job-seeking and interviewing success every Friday on BlackEnterprise.com.