The cover letter might be dead and social media might be the new thing, but the resume is still your calling card when you’re looking for a new job.

So, how does it look? Is it looking a little careworn, maybe a little shabby? Even worse, does it look old and out of date? When your resume crosses a recruiter’s desk, it has just seconds to make a great impression. And if it looks old, it can cost you the job.


Larry Chan, partner at Rosenzweig & Company compared it to updating an old outfit. “It was stylish 15 years ago but now the edges are frayed. Sometimes you need to do a wholesale change,” he said.

If you think your resume could use a makeover, here are some things you can update.


When there are documentaries on fonts (“Helvetica”), you know they are important. An old font can make your resume, and you, look out of date (and out of touch). Newer fonts are generally fresher, cleaner, and easier to read. What does this mean for your resume? Instead of Courier or any fonts with serifs, try Arial, Garamond or yes, Helvetica. You might want to retire Times New Roman as well. It is, after all,  the “sweatpants of fonts.”

Your address

Does the recruiter or hiring manager need to know where you live? No because no one offers a job or rejects a candidate via snail mail. They all do it via email. So instead of wasting that top space with your address, put your email, your LinkedIn profile, your phone number, and your most relevant social media profile. They’re going to look you up anyway.

An objective statement

People still open their resume with an objective statement says Shweta Kadam, human resources manager, and talent acquisition for Kraft Food Group. That might have been fine 10 years ago but many people believe it’s time to take it out. “What you need to do is have four or five bullet points that highlight your successes in relation to the job. Recruiters can see them immediately and decide if you’ll advance to the phone screening round,” Kadam says.

What should you highlight? Any sales increases or new processes? Have you won any awards that benefited your previous company or industry? Think about how your skills can help your potential new company and put them right at the top of your resume.

Outdated Terminology

Kathleen Teixeria, talent Acquisition at OLG says terminology is one of the easiest ways your resume can look old and out of touch.

“Take skill sets like knowing the Internet or listing websites with WWW off your resume immediately,” she says. “By now, recruiters expect you to have some internet skills and websites are written as not”


You want your resume to tell a story of your awesomeness but remember: a resume is supposed to whet the appetite; it is not be the full dinner. This is why instead of paragraphs, your resume should have more bullet points. They’re the snack-size offering of your experience. For the full meal, they’ll have to call you for an interview (or move on to your social platform, like LinkedIn).

“LinkedIn is where everyone goes. Your resume should have a link to your profile and that’s where you can expand on your experience, including awards,”says Marci Schnapp, owner of TeamQuest recruiting.

References available on request

Don’t bother putting it on your resume. They’ll ask if they’re interested in making you an offer. Besides, thanks to social media, there’s a strong chance the recruiter or hiring manager knows someone who can give them the dirt on you.

If your resume has any of these, it’s time for a makeover. Sit down and take apart your resume. Spend some time reworking and modernizing it. It will pay off in the long run.

See also:

How to tailor your resume to any job posting

How to optimize your resume for the 10-second skim

Should you put a picture on your resume?


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