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Why Doesn’t My Old Resume Work Anymore?

If you haven''t updated your resume in the last 3 or 4 years, you might find that your old resume, which worked well for you before, is no longer attracting employers, headhunters and corporate recruiters. If you are wondering, "What am I doing wrong?" it might not be you—it’s probably your resume.


There are three reasons your old resume may not be working for you:

  •  Drastic increase in competition
  •  Changes in technology
  •  Changes in your industry


1. Drastic increase in competition

Increased candidate competition is the #1 reason your resume is no longer working.

While current employment outlooks are marginally brighter, competition is still so high that your resume must be able to stand out against a mountain of candidates.

The best way to enhance your competitive standing against other job seekers is through strong accomplishment statements. Accomplishments are most effective when:

  • They illustrate your transferable skills
  • They show your contribution to corporate bottom-line objectives
  • They are stated quantitatively

If you are confused about how to state your accomplishments effectively,  spend a little time reading articles on resume writing that provide examples of how information can be communicated concisely and legibly, or consider hiring a professional resume writer. Correctly written statements will make your accomplishments shine—and you’ll be more likely to land those critical interviews.


2. Changes in technology

Is your resume ready for the high-tech world? Probably not, if you are still snail-mailing or faxing your resume to potential employers. Are you willing to take a chance on your resume being tossed, just because you didn’t take the time to prepare your resume for an electronic audience?

With dramatic increases in the number of resumes received, many employers have invested in software to manage resumes and candidate responses. It is entirely possible that a computer, not a person, will be the first one to screen your resume. The electronic eye is much more objective than the
human eye; it scans only for industry-specific terminology and keywords in qualifications and responsibilities.

Here are some critical questions to ask about your resume:

  • Does it contain the right keywords to put you in the "interview" pile?
  • Will new resume software be able to read its formatting correctly?
  • Will your tables, fonts, and graphics transmit properly in an online resume form—or will they disintegrate into unreadable symbols?


3. Changes in your industry

If you are still just tacking your most current job onto the same old resume, then your resume probably contains a lot of old terminology and buzz words. If so, it will make you look outdated—even over the hill. It may also fail to be recognized by software that uses keywords to retrieve the best resumes.

If you’re feeling out-of-step with the gaming-hospitality/technology & manufacturing industry, it may be time to attend classes and conferences designed to familiarize you with the latest equipment, technology, software and marketing strategies that are being used in the most successful and cutting edge companies.

Your resume will then set you apart from other candidatess by articulating your ability to stand up to the challenges of your industry’s changing trends.

Bottom line: if your old resume that no isn’t winning the attention of employers, then it’s time to ask yourself, "How much is my old resume costing me in wasted time and effort?" and "What do I need to do to demonstrate the value I can bring to a growing company?"

A new, better resume built on the knowledge and strategies that are suited to today’s job-search challenges may be just the edge you need to get you noticed and land the perfect new job.

Deborah Walker, CCMC is a Resume Writer & Career Coach.