Sound resume advice isn't timeless, especially with the advent of the internet. What worked a decade ago may at best appear outdated but, at worst, might severely impair your resume's visibility.
Modern resumes need to conform to modern business standards not just to catch the notice of hiring managers, but to integrate well with technology.
Related: Does your resume pass the 6-second test? Get a FREE assessment.
1. It has no email address or uses an outdated provider.
The internet is a fixture for every business, and email is the standard method of communication. If you don't have an email address on your resume, recruiters might throw it out before even getting to your professional experience. At best, they'll have a difficult time contacting you. While not nearly as damaging, putting down an email address from an outdated service like hotmail reflects poorly on your business-savvy.
2. Does not include an online job profile link.
Not only are career-oriented websites like Monster.com powerful tools, they've become a standard for hiring managers. When submitting your resume, especially if you're doing it electronically, include a link to an online, business-oriented profile. This tells hiring managers that you're taking the job search seriously, and gives them an easy location to see a more fleshed-out profile.
3. It uses personal pronouns.
If you're a job-searching novice, this piece of advice might sound strange but it will drastically sharpen up your presentation. Companies want to hire people who can make a contribution to their business, and the best way to do that is to literally take "I" out of your resume. Reword everything so personal pronouns like "I," "me," or "my" are absent. If this is a challenge, have someone proofread your work.
4. The design impedes scanning programs.
While your resume should stand out, it also needs to be easily searchable by scanning programs. Avoid using unusual formatting styles like shading, graphics, and headers to let the programs do their work.
5. It has no keywords.
How do search engines work? The answer is complicated, but a big part of their functionality relies on keywords. Remember that often a program is reading your resume before it ever reaches human eyes. The program has been told that qualified resumes will contain a certain number of keywords, and your resume should include as many of these as possible.
6. It has an objective statement.
Objective statements are a holdover and no longer considered necessary. If you hadn't even considered writing in an objective statement, don't start now.
7. It's written only in a functional format.
If you really want to make sure your resume stands out, use a combined format when structuring your resume. This means putting a personal brand statement at the top followed by your career history in reverse chronological order. This format gives hiring managers an easily digestible snapshot of your career goals, what you offer, and what you've done in the past.
8. It does not list major accomplishments.
Hard data showing your accomplishments is far more impressive than a short description of your job duties. Tell prospective employers that you doubled sales numbers or surpassed your revenue target by 50%, not the nuts and bolts of your job description.
9. It's too short, too long, or filled with typos. Your resume should be easily read, but always keep presentation in mind. Don't put a few straggler sentences at the end of page two: either cut out content or put down enough to fill a full second page. Most importantly, make sure your resume is as free of typos and other writing errors as possible. Your chances at getting the job might be seriously hurt if any mistakes are noticed.
10. Uses the phrase, "references available upon request."
It may have been sound advice a few years ago, but nowadays employers understand inherently that you can produce references at their request. At least, you should be able to.
Related: For the latest veteran jobs postings around the country, visit the Military.com Job Search section.
The Next Step: Get Your Resume Out There
Get your resume seen by companies that are seeking veterans like you. Post your resume with Monster.com.