If you haven't had to update your resume in a while, that's a good thing. But it is important to keep it fresh and relevant so you are ready for unexpected opportunities. I've had clients contact me at the 11th hour asking for their resume to be updated by the next day. Of course I am happy to oblige, but here are some things that you can do in the meantime so that you are always prepared.
1. Remove Color
Now a few months ago I would have said "add a little pop of color," but I've since learned about ATS. Like most industries automation is the new wave. This actually sucks for employment because its replacing humans, but we will talk about that another time.
What is ATS?
Application Tracking System is a software application that allows for the electronic handling of recruitment and hiring. Small business to large enterprises are using this software. Which means an actual person is not scanning your resume for qualifications. As this system collects, organizes, and tracks candidates through the hiring process you may be getting overlooked because the software is unable to read data placed in images, tables, and texts boxes. A bit of color can be read, but who knows what "a bit" means? So, I say avoid it all together.
As discussed above, ATS has can not read images. Take your face off the page. It frees up space for your accomplishments and it also reduces the chances of discrimination. Now I know you may be thinking, they are going to find out my race and gender anyway. But it may not just be race and gender that causes discrimination. Someone may just not like your look and although unfair, don't give a person any reason to pass over your resume. The goal is to be invited to interview. Once you get your foot in the door, blow them away.
3. Street Address
Back in the day we told complete strangers exactly where we lived. Sounds cringy right? Hiring managers don't need your address; city and state is enough. They just need to know you are local and can make it to work. Also, every "side" of town has a reputation. Don't allow someone the opportunity to overlook you because of the "side" you live on.
4. 20 Plus Years of Experience
You are aging yourself out of the running. It may sound great coming out, but in certain industries new perspective is valued. Now that's not to say because you have many years of experience you aren't up to date on the latest, but the hiring manager doesn't know that. Saying you have "years of experience" is plenty good. Wet their appetite. In the interview you can show off just how much you know, but before that, entice them to call you in to ask for more.
5. Graduation Date
Agism is a "thing" unfortunately. You may be competing in a market with students who are fresh out of trade school or college. Some people view older candidates as harder to train, less technological ability, etc. We know that it's not true, but people have built in assumptions. Avoid putting the date you graduated from high school or college. Add degree type, major, and college location, I promise that is all you need.