3 old-school resume tactics that won't work in 2024

april 25, 2024

Hey, fellow job seekers! I'm Gabrielle, and today I'm excited to share some essential tips on updating your resume.

If you're wondering why you're not landing interviews, it might be due to some outdated practices that no longer serve you well. But don’t worry! I'll guide you through how to give your resume a modern, standout makeover. Trust me, a few tweaks can make a massive difference.

Outdated practice #1: The dreaded objective statement

Gone are the days when resumes began with a generic statement about your career goals. Modern employers scan resumes looking for immediate value. To put it bluntly: prospective employers care far more about their own goals than about yours.

Connect with those goals immediately by swapping out the objective statement for a compelling professional statement that focuses on the value you can bring. This should be a brief but punchy overview of what you bring to the table—think of it as your elevator pitch.

With Microsoft Word, you can easily format this section to make it pop so it instantly catches the recruiter's eye.

Pro tip

Stuck on formatting? Start with one of Microsoft Create's attractive, pre-formatted resume templates to simplify the process and make a strong first impression.

Outdated practice #2: "References available upon request"

If you're still including “References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume, it's time to hit the delete key. Employers assume you'll provide references if they ask for them. So, that space on your resume could be better used to highlight your skills, achievements, or projects you’ve worked on.

Instead of mentioning references on your resume, keep a separate list of references handy in a neat Microsoft Word document, ready to whip out when needed. This lets you maximize your resume's real estate for what truly matters: showing off why you're the best candidate for the job.

Outdated practice #3: Listing every job you've ever had

Your resume isn't an autobiography. As your career progresses, some experiences become less relevant. So, on an ongoing basis, streamline your resume so that it focuses on the most recent and relevant jobs that align with your current career goals. This approach not only keeps your resume crisp and concise but also tailors it to the specific position you're aiming for.

If you have lots of career interests or you’re applying to different kinds of roles, consider this strategy:

  • Create a “master” resume that contains your entire career history. This resume can be as long as you like—you won’t be submitting it anywhere—but make sure your job descriptions and accomplishments are “final” so you can easily cut and paste them.
  • Create shorter resumes that are tailored to each path you’re interested in, pasting in only the most relevant information from your master resume. (Alternative: make a copy of your master resume and delete irrelevant work experience).
  • Update bullet points and other specifics as needed to further tailor the resume.
  • Clearly name and label your resume so you can quickly find the right one when you’re applying for jobs.

Next steps: Update your resume!

By avoiding these three outdated practices and using Microsoft Word to its fullest, you can create a resume that truly stands out. Remember, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for hiring managers to see your value and how well you fit their needs.

If you need a head start at making your resume look sharp and clean, head over to Microsoft Create and explore their resume templates. From straightforward and minimalist to resumes with a little extra creative flair, there’s a professional resume template for every style in this collection.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you find and land an amazing job that suits you perfectly!

Related topics