With the current state of the economy, jobs are a bit more challenging to come by. For this reason, it is more important than ever that you have a properly planned resume. A poorly planned resume can result in missing out an interview, which can be devastating in this market.
If you are an older job seeker, avoid putting certain dates on your resume. There is no reason to tell an employer how old you are, but if you mention on your resume that you obtained your bachelors degree in 1975, the interviewer will be able to do some quick math and determine that you are very likely in your 50s. Employers are legally not allowed to discriminate based upon age, but there would be no way of knowing that an employer had done so if you don’t get the job. Instead of putting dates on your resume, simply put facts. For instance, list what degrees that you have, not when you obtained them.
If you are an older job seeker, only list relevant information on your resume. For example, if you are a computer programmer, no one cares about how great you were with DOS back in the day. Listing all of the years of experience that you have with DOS only gives hints to your age. Instead, highlight all of the relevant experience that you possess. If you are in the field of technology, generally only the last ten to fifteen years of your experience is truly relevant to your employer. Focusing on the achievements that you have had in this time frame makes you look incredibly marketable while avoiding any possibility for age discrimination.
If you are a younger job seeker, play up all of your experience, but leave your high school and college graduation dates off of your resume. There is no reason to give your interviewer a reason to write you off based upon your youth. As with the older job seekers, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against you, but if you don’t get the job, there would be no way for you to know that you were discriminated against. Be certain that you mention all of the clubs that you are or were a part of, especially if you held an office or leadership position within the clubs. Play up any volunteer experience that you have.
All job seekers should focus on listing their skills and accomplishments on their resume as opposed to simply listing their job responsibilities. Being a cashier does not sound like it would have much relevance when applying for a management position, but you can show how being a cashier brought out your abilities to multi-task and manage large sums of money responsibly if you play up those skills on your resume. Be sure to remember that your potential employer wants to see how you, your personality traits, your knowledge, and your skills will enable you to be an asset to their company. If you explain how you will be an asset to the company in your resume, then you are much more likely to grab the attention of recruiters, land an interview, and get a job. Don’t give the HR staff at your dream job any reason to write you off before they’ve even met you.