Laptop and typewriter facing each other with hands typing on each

When it comes to writing your resume, there’s a lot of old and outdated advice out there. But not all the “old” ways are necessarily irrelevant and not all of the shiny new resume trends are worth following blindly.

Let’s take a walk through the different stages of preparing your resume and compare what traditional and modern techniques you can apply… or avoid!

Resume Format

Old School: Microsoft Word document or PDF resume

New School: People are getting creative with video resumes,  infographic resumes, web-based resumes, etc.

Our Verdict: Our digital landscape means you can stand out in a number of different ways, but not always for the better. The problem with all these “new school” formats is that they’re often executed poorly, are unnecessary or can be confusing for the employer. If you’re applying for a creative job, then it makes sense to have a more creative approach. But for most roles, we suggest sticking with a traditional MS Word or PDF resume, supplemented by a well-crafted LinkedIn profile.

Resume Design

Old School: Formal, Times New Roman font

New School: Fancy fonts, graphs and graphics

Our Verdict: Your resume design should be a nice blend of traditional and modern. Don’t go overboard with the fonts, colours or images, but walls of Times New Roman text aren’t appealing either. Aim for readability. Keep your resume clean and simple with lots of white space so that your content is what really shines!

Resume Content

Old School: Lists of roles and responsibilities, personal details

New School: Achievements-based resume, do not include personal details

Our Verdict: When it comes to content, the new way is mostly the better way. Old school practices of having a headshot, age, sex and marital status details on your resume are definitely outdated. And gone are the days where your Work Experience section was just a laundry list of duties. Now, the focus is on including achievements and results in your resume. Try to quantify these achievements as much as possible. It’s still okay to include a Personal Interests section, however it should be short, relevant and not include anything detrimental to your application.

Sending Your Resume

Old School: Mail or in person

New School: Email or online applications

Our Verdict: Mailing or delivering your resume in person is impractical for the person receiving it, so digital wins the day here! But when emailing or applying online, remember to maintain a professional tone, use a professional email address, and customize your application to the job you’re applying for. That being said,  once you’ve sent in your application, prepare yourself for an old school phone follow up!