Outdated Resume Tips

4 Outdated Resume Tips You Should Be Avoiding At All Costs


Not all advice is good advice. Here are some outdated resume tips you should be avoiding at all costs!

1. “Your resume should only be one page long.”

Two pages is currently the ideal length for resumes. It allows you enough space to be thorough without the information getting buried among itself. Certain positions in the medical and academic fields require a CV (curriculum vitae), which is typically longer because it includes research, publications, or other items that the position asks for. Two pages is a good length for resumes, though.

Related: The Worst Resume Advice I’ve EVER Heard

2. “You need an Objective Statement.”

When we started learning about writing resumes, our career counselors, parents, and teachers deemed this to be a “must.” But times have changed and the objective statement often ends up being a waste of precious resume space. After all, you only have two pages to gain a prospective employer’s interest and persuade them to pick up the phone to schedule an interview. Your objective when sending your resume to someone or submitting it to an open position is implied in the act itself—you want to be hired for the position you have expressed interest in.

Instead of an objective, use that space to add a customized link to your LinkedIn profile and explain any employment gaps that you may have. Doing this gives the recruiter more information and eliminates the risk of them passing on you because of a concerning gap in your employment history. Some recruiters will call to ask you about them, but some will just move on to the next.

Also, the client could have instructed the recruiters to send the resume to them if the candidate had a legitimate reason to explain the gap (e.g. finishing a degree, taking care of a sick relative, etc.), but not respond to any that are unexplained because of the quantity of resumes they already have to sort through.

The bottom line: You probably won’t know who your resume will get in front of or what instructions the recruiters were given, so it is a good idea to cover your bases.

3. “Include ‘References available upon request’ in your resume.”

As with the objective statement, this is implied and the space could be used for better purposes. So far, I have not come across a candidate who refused to provide references when asked for them.

4. “You need a traditional resume.”

With the fierce competition and wide array of job sites, forums, professional networking sites, and so on, the need to set yourself apart from others has been steadily increasing. As a result, businesses have gotten more social and interested in one’s ability to market themselves. This is evidenced by the emergence of all those “Create your personal brand” advice articles geared toward job seekers and any professionals looking to advance their careers.

The creation of non-traditional resumes reflects this idea as well. Although I do advise keeping the bullet point format because it is easiest to read, you can include narration and even a quote from one of your LinkedIn recommendations to spice up your resume. For instance, I have a quote from my former boss on mine and the feedback I have gotten thus far in interviews is always positive. A few have referred to it when I mentioned my work with him. It is a great credibility-booster and is also the only item that is in color (just the brackets around it), which helps it stand out.

If you are planning to submit your resume directly to a company’s website, have a simply formatted version as well (Times New Roman, no bold or underlining, spaces in lieu of indents, standard bullet points or dashes, no images or text boxes, etc.). Many employers, staffing agencies, and recruitment firms utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS), which will jumble any unrecognized formatting into plain text.

With that said, a resume is not everything you need for success in your search.

There is a discussion on whether LinkedIn profiles and similar websites will phase out the use of resumes entirely. I do not think that will happen any time soon. What I am sure of, is that job seekers need to supplement their resumes with a professional online presence. LinkedIn is the main network for this, but Twitter is also a great place to build a professional presence by tweeting articles and videos about your industry that other people would find useful. Some savvy job seekers have leveraged other social networks to further their careers as well, such as Vine, Instagram, and Pinterest.

However you conduct your job search, don’t get discouraged. Keep moving ahead. I wish you the best on your journey to the next step in your career.

Related Posts

3 Tips To Get Your Resume In The ‘Yes’ Pile
15 Tips For Sprucing Up Your Resume In 30 Minutes Or Less
Top 6 Tips For Resume Formatting


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Emily Ceskavich

Emily Ceskavich is a recruitment professional in the Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) industry. Connect with her at www.linkedin.com/in/emilyceskavich


  1. My advice on the resume (and there is a nearly infinite set of opinions on resumes, so I will add mine to make it infinity + 1): Keep in mind the primary purpose of the resume: To make someone curious enough about you to read more of it and get you a phone screen interview. Just like a magazine ad: they don’t tell you everything about the advertised product, they tell you just barely enough to make you curious enough to call them or visit their website. Same is true of the resume…it’s one of your pieces of job-hunting “tackle” (marketing tools) that moves you, as the candidate, from unknown person to someone that gives us a reason to interview you. So keep that in mind as you consider 1 vs 2 pages, etc. “Do you give the company a reason to want to interview you?”

  2. Great comments! I don’t think I would consider the tips listed in the article new…but definitely useful. One thing in particular is “the page debate” Honestly, I think it depends-as stated earlier. The one page hitter has been an industry staple, but recruiters and hiring committees would agree that if someone has 10 years of experience in a related field, one page may not be enough (probably shouldn’t be enough) By the same token, a recent grad trying to stretch out academic and co-curricular activities onto two pages may be counterproductive. At the end of the day, do what makes you shine brightest.

    I would also add that the objective statement is often best replaced by a professional profile or summary-which includes a short yet impactful summary with a few skills listed in bullet format 3×3 or 2×3. Adding a link to an online portfolio has also proven to be quite useful. Great way to market and illustrate technical skills.

  3. Dave, my understanding is that the top of the resume needs to be attractive enough so that the recruiter is interested in reading more. Another aspect is that ATS probably have no problem scanning through a 2-3 pages resume in 6 seconds. If there is good material for more than one page it’s valid

  4. Thanks for the excellent tips. Dave I am in full agreement with you that there is no one fit for all. It varies from occupation to occupation or job to job. My research of ten months. for which I remained unemployed despite of many accomplishments and experience, reveal that even after ransacked the Resume/CV as per the tips given by such sites as above and other I have not received a response from 400+ jobs I applied so far. I have done everything possible from my end to sell my genuine skills like customised cover letter for every different job, so do customised my CV/Resume. Please guide me..

    • Could be as simple as looking at the right jobs. That was my problem. Put it this way…there are jobs out there that are made for your skill set. All of the advice that I’ve read and implemented clicked when I started looking in the right places at the right jobs. But with all of the advice out there, I think this point is not represented or emphasized as well as it could be emphasized.

  5. Dave, you are right that the length is different for those who are just starting out, like a high school student or college student who has held only one job. However, beyond that point, the norm for someone who is a few years into their career is two pages.

    Recruiters looks for the information they need, so if that brings them to the second page, then they will definitely read through the second page to find that information.

  6. Good advice! I had never considered quotes/testimonials from former employers in the resume but it makes a lot of sense. Resumes get less than a 20 second “scan” by human beings so a strong testimonial from a well-placed manager or executive from a recognized company would stand out, to be sure. On the other hand a watered-down generic testimonial from a co-worker would have little or no impact, in my experience. Also make sure the testimonial is specific and hard-hitting, quantitative for the most “juice”.

  7. The two page resume is going against the norm, or the norm is changing. All the research I have done, and the employers that I have spoken with say one page! Most employers spend six to 13 seconds looking over a resume, the second page will never get any attention. I guess the one thing that the article did not cover is the level of applicant. An applicant seeking employment in the medical field and or the academic field will have achievements that an applicant coming from a restaurant or a cashier position may not have, this would certainly aid in a second page resume. An applicant just entering the work force, and an applicant who is young will have enough experience and skills for a one page resume at best.

    • I agree that the resume should only be one page. I’ve never heard a recruiter say anything other than one page. I like the other points of the article though.

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