Top Five Signs Your Resume Needs an Update

Top Five Signs Your Resume Needs an Update

By David Lammert – Pinnacle Placements | March 9, 2021

As we slowly emerge from the global health crisis you may be wondering if it’s the right time to update your resume. Job search trends can change, and we are seeing that because of Covid-19 – and as a result, something that looked appropriate five years ago may now look outdated and even irrelevant.


Now is the time to review and update your resume. As we make our way forward from the pandemic, economic signals show the U.S. economy may be poised for rapid growth and many sectors will be looking to add new employees to meet demand.


If you are unsure about the need to update your resume, here are five questions you can ask yourself about your current resume to help make that determination.


  1. Does Your Resume Contain an Objective Statement?

Yes, I still receive candidate resumes with an objective statement regularly. However, an objective statement is more outdated than a flip-phone. Having one on your resume screams “I am out of touch.” Not a good look in today’s hiring environment. An objective is not needed…the fact that you’re applying for the job, tells Recruiters, HR, and Hiring Managers what your objective is.


Also, objectives tend to take up important space near the top of the resume (the real estate adage: location, location, location applies – the top third portion of the resume is the space where you need to gain the reader’s attention). This crucial section near the top of the resume should be used to summarize your career background, experience, and expertise and to create a picture that you’re a viable candidate for the position.


  1. Does It Exceed Two Pages in Length?

Your resume should be a reasonable length. If you’re a young professional with limited experience, you can limit your resume to one page and still get a strong message across. For experienced professionals, I recommend limiting your resume to two pages.


You don’t need to include all your experience and skills. You only need to include experience and skills relevant to the job you’re applying for. Think of your resume as a sales brochure. Its purpose is to create an interest level…not to be the owner’s manual. You will be able to express all of your relevant skills, education, and experience within two pages.


If you’re still not sure, ask yourself this: If you were a busy Hiring Manager, would you read a five-page resume all the way through in the hope the candidate has relevant experience somewhere? In fact, the longer your resume is, the more likely it is that your important skills will be overlooked entirely.


  1. Do You Have Irrelevant Information on Your Resume?

Resumes can be considered a list of accomplishments, so it makes sense you want to include a lot of information. However, I’ve seen many resumes that have listed courses, interests, accomplishments, even religious affiliation, and purely social organizations.


When considering including any type of content ask yourself this question: Does this information I’m listing correspond or relate to the role I am applying for or considering?


Let’s say you have a background in investigations, but you’re looking to transition into a security management job. You likely have a lot of investigative-related duties and accomplishments from your job which are currently highlighted on your resume. Consider removing or downplaying these items in your new resume in favor of more security management-related duties.


In fact, highlighting these responsibilities could hinder your job search. As a recruiter, if I saw a resume filled with investigations responsibilities, I’d typically assume the person is interested in investigations and not management. In a case like this, I would recommend highlighting all your experience that’s transferable to leadership and management, such as leading a team, setting policy, and/or oversight of projects.


  1. Are You Listing Every Job You’ve Ever Had?

This isn’t relevant for everyone (especially if you’re a new professional and you’ve only had a couple of jobs in your career) but keep in mind that you don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had. Jobs you had before, during, or right after college aren’t likely to lead to a mid or senior-level management role. Leave them your resume and LinkedIn Profile.


That’s not to say you didn’t gain important skills in those jobs – you likely did: You probably learned some type of customer service, communications skills, sales or gained valuable skills from military and or law enforcement service, but if you need to highlight your skills in these areas, it is better to find a way to do that using your relevant experience within your roles over the past 10 to 15 years as a general rule.


  1. Is Your Phone Ringing?

The best way to determine if there is a problem with your resume is in the response you receive after applying for positions you are qualified for. Have you sent out resumes to numerous positions where your qualifications matched those in the job description, but you getting no response? If so, that’s a sign that there may be a problem with your resume.

There could be any number of problems, whether your resume isn’t compatible with the employer’s applicant tracking systems, or it’s not targeted enough to the types of jobs you’re interested in.


If your resume isn’t getting many responses, and you’re not sure why, contact me for a complimentary professional review. As a security management executive recruiter reviewing dozens of resumes daily, I’m happy to offer some feedback about how to improve your resume.


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