When I begin to explain the differences between applying to jobs in the early 2000s vs. today, I feel like I should be sitting in a rocking chair with two knitting rods and yarn.
Resumes are nothing like they were 10+ years ago.
That's why if you haven't touched your Resume in 10+ years, it's time to blow the dust off of your vintage document and make some changes. Even if you're not in the middle of a career search, having an updated Resume on hand is perfect for unexpected events (lay off, termination, etc.) or even for a promotion.
Before hitting the submit button, be sure to REMOVE the following items or phrases from your Resume:
1. Street Address
10+ years ago, I wouldn't have thought twice before including my client's full physical address in the resume. Today, I only include the city, state, and zip code of my clients. Why? For starters, most of the communication involving the hiring process occurs online. An employer would not refer to your Resume for your physical address. Additionally, your physical address is sensitive information. The only time you should include your full physical address is when it is NECESSARY (example: Federal Resume) or requested.
2. Objective Statement
If your Resume still has an Objective Statement, it's outdated. Remove the Objective Statement in your Resume and replace it with a "Career Summary", "Summary of Qualifications", or "Executive Summary" section. Your Resume should already target the position that you're applying for, so there is no need to tell recruiters and hiring managers your objective. The Career Summary provides a brief (4-5 sentences), focused overview of your strengths, skills, and achievements. Be sure to create a strong one, since the Career Summary is your introduction to you future employer. If you need help creating an engaging and focused Career Summary, be sure to check out my Resume Refresh service.
3. The phrase: "responsible for..."
Hiring Managers and Recruiters are sometimes stuck reading through hundreds of Resumes. To avoid having your Resume land in the trash can, remove dull phrases such as "responsible for" from the Professional Experience section of your Resume. Sharing what you were responsible for does not give your future employer much information about your achievements (honestly, if they would like to know what you were responsible for in your role, they could read the job description online). Replace "responsible for" with an action verb to get their attention instead!
4. Jobs from 15+ years ago
This has to be one of the most difficult parts of my job as a Resume Writer: explaining to professionals why the work that they did 15+ years ago does not belong on their new Resume.
Unless the role you're applying for requires 20+ years of experience, then it's time to delete some of the outdated experience in your document. Remember that your resume is not an autobiography that has to span your entire work history. The purpose of the Resume is to market your most relevant and most recent experience. Your resume is not an autobiography of every job you’ve held since you graduated; it’s a marketing document. It's perfectly OK to let go of the experience from 15+ years ago (many Hiring Managers and Recruiters don't read the experience from 15+ years ago anyway).
5. References Available Upon Request
Do. Not. Include. This. Phrase.
Hiring Managers are very aware that they can contact you for references. Save the space on your Resume for something else of value (such as volunteer experience or certifications).