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Is My Resume Outdated?

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

What makes a resume powerful? And more importantly to job seekers and the underemployed, what makes a resume reflect you? Since a resume is a reflection of you, you don’t want to create a scenario where your recruiter starts thinking that you’re outdated simply because your resume is.

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In the past, it used to be that career objectives, academic qualifications and job experiences alone were enough for a powerful resume. Today, new factors have emerged that differentiates outstanding and powerful resumes from outdated ones.

You can tell if your resume is outdated if it has the following characteristics:

  • It can’t pass the Application Tracking Software (ATS)

  • It has career objectives instead of career summary

  • It lacks core competencies

  • It’s lengthy

  • It lacks accomplishments

Without further ado, let’s dive into these checklists that differentiate outdated from current resumes.

#1: Your Resume can’t pass the Application Tracking Software (ATS)

Is your resume passing companies’ ATS? Companies use software systems to help them screen and assess your skills and core competencies using keywords on your resume. While the practice of electronically screening and evaluating resumes saves time for busy Human Resource managers, it also means that a couple of highly qualified candidates may slip through the cracks because they don’t use the ATS’s language on their resumes.

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It’s imperative that you learn how to craft resumes that move past the ATS algorithms. If your resume can’t pass through a company’s ATS, then you’ll miss out on interviews. Learning the language of ATS will go a long way in helping you craft a powerful and updated resume.

#2: Your resume has a career objective instead of a career summary

I know you’re now thinking, “What’s the difference between career objectives and career summary?”

Well, a career objective is a short statement that outlines your career direction. A career objective helps to position you within the job that has been advertised. On the other hand, a career summary provides a hard-hitting introductory declaration that’s packed with your most sought-after skills, job experiences, accomplishments that are demanded by an employer.

While a career objective will describe your needs—which doesn’t explain how they’ll meet the needs of your employer—a career summary highlights skills, job experience, accomplishments that add value to your prospective employer. Therefore, a resume that’s having a career objective may not help you with your bottom line. Your resume should have a career summary.

#3: You’ve not highlighted core competencies

The core competencies are buzzwords in your industry that your hiring managers should see from your resume. For instance, if you’re a logistics professional, your core competencies should have keywords such as Management, Warehousing, Global Distribution and Supply Chain Management. Including these words in your resume can help you with the bottom line.

An updated resume should have appropriately updated core competencies because core competencies change with time.

#4: Your resume is lengthy

What’s the ideal length of a resume? While a three-page resume is certainly not outdated, you should strive to trim it. Most employers simply don’t have the time to read through an entire resume. In fact, the majority of Talent Acquisition Recruiters rarely spend more than 6-10 seconds reviewing a resume.

Therefore, maximize your exposure by trimming your resume. But don’t get me wrong on this. So long as it contains sufficient information that your employer wants, then you should go for it.

#5: Your resume lacks the accomplishments

Most resumes—that are considered outdated have duties instead of accomplishments. If your resume contains only the duties and responsibilities—and not the achievements—then you’ll not nail that interview. So, what’s the difference?

Well, duties state what you did on your previous job while accomplishments demonstrate how well you did that job. In fact, accomplishments go a deep further by showing your abilities to finish the potential work. An updated resume should capture all the job accomplishments—both old and recent—that are related to the job you’re applying.


Resumes are like marketing materials and therefore, they have expiry dates. You can’t use the same resume each time when applying for jobs. The current competitive job market requires that you re-evaluate and update your resume periodically. Do My Resume.NET is a certified professional resume writing service that helps you craft a resume that’s modern and up-to-date. You can view samples of resumes that we’ve created that are professionally written, modern and updated.

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