by Matt Alderton | May 28, 2019
Whether your last job search was a couple of years ago or a couple of decades, there's at least one thing you need to do before vying for a new position: You need to update your résumé. Even if the information on your résumé hasn't changed much, résumé conventions have. If you submit a dated document to a potential employer, they're going to assume you and your skills are dated, too.

"Your résumé 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 résumé format hasn't been updated in some time, you risk it looking woefully out of touch," author Jacqueline Lisk writes in a recent article for job search website Monster.

Although there are many tweaks you can make to your résumé to make it feel current and fresh, a few recommendations stand out as low-hanging fruit, according to Lisk. One, for example, is replacing your "Objective" with a "Career Summary."

"This darling of earlier résumé times is now seen as a has-been," Lisk says. "Today, your résumé 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."

You also should take a look at the skills you list. "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," Lisk continues. "For example, listing Microsoft Office may imply that you're not familiar with Google Docs … 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 résumé for this particular position."

Finally, make sure your résumé includes social media handles. "For many types of job roles, I look up the social media presence of candidates," John Boese, founder of, tells Lisk. "If you don't have a website or social media link in your résumé, it tells me that you either don't know social media or don't know how to write a modern résumé. Both of these are bad."

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