These 5 things are making your resume look dated

Don’t just dust off your resume—check it for these missteps that can make you look like a dinosaur.

These 5 things are making your resume look dated

A modern resume is a must for today's job seeker.

Your resume is your first chance to grab a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention. But you don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons. If your resume format hasn't been updated in some time, you risk it looking woefully out of touch. 

That happens more often than you might think. Donna Svei of Los Angeles-based AvidCareerist says she has seen lots of things that make resumes look outdated: a rotary telephone icon next to an applicant’s phone number; an envelope or stamp icon next to the physical mailing address; and when it comes down to it, the physical mailing address itself. “It’s unlikely that a prospective employer is going to mail you anything,” she says. “It’s irrelevant.”

When your resume format looks outdated, you raise concerns about your own professional expertise, Svei says. “Those aren’t good signals to send to prospective employers.”

Even if it’s been only a few years since you last looked for a job, there may be things on your CV that you might as well have written on a typewriter. Avoid these five things that can make your resume look outdated.

It’s an epic

Of course you want to include as much relevant information as possible, but the key idea here is “relevant.” Rambling on and on about every job you’ve ever had, going back to lifeguarding during summer vacation in high school, is only going to make it harder for the recruiter to find the information about how you doubled sales every quarter for a year at a software startup.

In most cases, you want to “limit your resume format to one page and use sharp keywords that grab a recruiter’s attention,” says Alexa Merschel, U.S. tax talent acquisition leader at PwC.

It lists an objective

This darling of earlier resume times is now seen as a has-been, experts say. Your objective, current thinking goes, is to get the job you’re applying for—and by applying, you’re stating that objective. Duh.

Today, your resume should be all about marketing yourself. You do that with a career summary that focuses on your experience, talents, and accomplishments, which demonstrates the value you can bring to a future employer.

It brags about the basics

If you highlight skills and accomplishments that are now considered givens, it may signal to hirers that you haven’t made an effort to learn new things.

For example, listing Microsoft Office may imply that you’re not familiar with Google Docs, says Steve Gibson, founder of Vyteo, a marketing firm based in San Francisco. Another example might be listing the number of words you type per minute—that’s necessary only for professions where typing documents is literally all you do, he says. 

Take a look at the job ad itself and see what types of skills are mentioned. Use that to inform you of the top skills hiring managers want to see on your resume for this particular position.

It touts ‘References available upon request’

Your resume can feature a zillion fascinating successes, but if there aren't actual humans who can vouch for your awesomeness, you're probably not going to get a job. You know this already—and so do hiring managers. If you’re applying for jobs, you should have references at the ready

It lacks social profile links

In many fields, social media has become the go-to way for establishing expertise. And recruiters and hiring managers are definitely looking to see that you can play that game.

“For many types of job roles, I look up the social media presence of candidates,” says John Boese, founder of in New York City. “If you don't have a website or social media link in your resume, it tells me that you either don't know social media or don't know how to write a modern resume. Both of these are bad.”

Make a good resume

If you're worried that your resume is the flip phone of resumes, it behooves you to take the time to update it. Could you use some help putting on the finishing touches? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service. You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. It's a quick and easy way to make sure your job application stands out in the 21st century.