7 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine if Your Resume is Outdated

If you take a look at your current resume, is it weighed down with outdated industry jargon, irrelevant job content and pages and pages of task-driven statements?

Knowing when to downplay (not lie or embellish) job-related tasks and responsibilities can make a big difference between a mediocre and a highly targeted resume.

The great thing about resume writing “rules” is that they should be adjusted to best suit your career situation, long-term career goals and immediate job search needs. However, here are a few things to keep in mind:

— Your professional resume is a strategic marketing document, more importantly, it is a living document. All this simply means is that you write for the future and write with your target audience in mind.

— Every word, sentence, phrase, and statement on your resume should support and promote your candidacy for your ideal positions.

— Your resume content should be slanted to match your career goals, should be guided by who you want to be (director of marketing, senior accountant, public relations manager) and tailored to how you want to be perceived (rainmaker, technology guru, finance wizard).

— Once you have advanced in your career, there are certain basic skills and areas of expertise that you will be expected to have.

For example, if you have been a CPA for the past ten years, is it really necessary to indicate that you have “strong analytical skills” or that you are “very knowledgeable of the GAAP rules”?

— There is always going to be some degree of emotional attachment that you will have to some or all of your jobs, always remember to write your resume with hiring manager/employers’ needs at the forefront of your mind.

Don’t be swayed or influenced by the fact that it was your best job ever or your really had a great time at the company.

So how can you really tell if your resume is on the right track? Use these questions to screen out irrelevant content from your resume:

  • Are the skills, qualifications, and expertise listed on your resume consistent with what the employers and recruiters are looking for?
  • Can you provide a reliable reference who can support your career achievements and/or performance from a job you held 20 years ago?
  • Have you listed any technology tools and software programs that are no longer in existence today?
  • Did you include a lot of detail and content related to previous positions that are the opposite of your career target?
  • Is there a long list of certifications and licenses that are outdated or expired?
  • Do you have your high school diploma, college-related content (activities, honors and awards) even though you are NOT an entry-level professional?

How would you grade your current professional resume?