Resume Pitfalls for Professionals Who Haven’t Changed Jobs in A While

Like everything these days in our fast-paced times, resumes and respective requirements are subject to rapid change. What was the norm 20 or 10 years ago is certainly not the norm anymore.

Anyone remember resume “objectives” at the top of a resume outlining elaborate candidate wishes of what they were looking for in their next role and employer? Or “references upon request” at the very bottom of a resume?

However, obvious trends for recruiters, resume writers and other career professionals may not be so obvious for busy professionals; particularly for the ones who haven’t changed jobs in a while.

Let’s face it, if you are not a career professional your motivation to stay abreast on resume trends during your leisure time compared to simply unwinding and enjoying life with your family and friends is rather low.

Particularly, when you have been working for a great employer. Why bother, right?

The Risks of Not Staying Up-to-Date

While not staying abreast on resume trends if you have been enjoying work with a great employer is understandable, it does not come without risks.

Recently I worked with an executive client who hadn’t changed companies in over 2 decades, and her existing resume was, thus, consistently rusty and outdated. The document lacked any type of personal branding elements and was not optimized for Applicant Tracking Systems (obviously so since the resume had been created long before the rise of Applicant Tracking Systems).

All this by itself is not a problem if you get to rely on the expertise of a qualified resume writer. They will turn it around and catapult the resume into the present. The real problem arises when you are so out of touch with current requirements that you start grasping and holding onto the old and outdated concepts.

In the case of my recent client, she had a really hard time embracing modern and necessary resume elements. For example, a branded “Executive Summary” section at the top of her resume that replaced those generic statements and buzzwords that have been so overused over the last decade.

I had some serious persuasion work to do to convince her that terms like “results-oriented” and “great communicator” are not only not “required” on a leadership resume anymore but, quite the contrary, are rather hurtful for a resume in 2018.


Staying on top of all and the ever-changing resume trends and details might be a bit challenging for busy professionals. However, keeping an eye on the “big picture” trends will ensure that you are knowledgeable and ready should the day come when you need that resume. Even if a professional writer is creating it for you.

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