Are retro résumés in?

I’m browsing through and checking out the feed today and I run across a posting one of the people I’m following notes: How to make your résumé stand out to employers.

Obviously, this is something that interests me considering that with my own job search, I find that résumés, more often than not, seem to end up in a kind of limbo, rarely eliciting response from potential employers.

I’ll admit to struggling sometime with my own résumé. With two decades of experience under my belt and a wide diversity of experience, it’s tough to summarize and get all those valuable keywords just two pages. I write my résumé to reflect my potential as well as my past.

Imagine my surprise at these tips (I’ve commented with italics):

  • Start your résumé with personal details.… The most important thing to consider here includes your full name and contact details. It is better that you avoid unnecessary information like religion, political views etc.” Obviously, your full name and contact details are important. But “personal details”?
  • Academic section: Your professional qualification and educational history must follow, along with mentioning the names of your attended educational institutions. The year of passing each academic level should be written in a reverse order, including your grades.” Maybe here’s where my errors begin. I thought some objective followed the contact information. As for my grades, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they were and I’m not thinking they’re that relevant 20 years after I got my Master’s degree and 23 since leaving undergrad.
  • Experience. It is good if you include both paid and unpaid work experience. Most of the employers regard unpaid work experience as more challenging and valuable.” Now I went back to reread the introduction; no where does it mention this is an article is for the first-ever résumé.
  • About YOU: Here you can include your personal interests, hobbies, and likes. Keep this part short and to the point.” I’ve never heard including a personal biographic section is a positive with the modern résumé.
  • I’m skipping the next three points, which highlight writing a cover letter, editing your résumé to one or two pages and proofing.
  • Use a high-quality envelope that is clearly addressed, to mail/submit your résumé.” An envelope? Wait a minute. We’re mailing it? Snail-mail? Here’s where I’m really effing up. Almost everything nowadays is online. Heck, I don’t even think one applies for a fast-food job or cashier on paper anymore.

Am I wrong? Have we gone back in time? Or did someone just copy an old article and forget to update it?

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Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at You can follow him on Twitter at and see more about his professional experience at Reach him via e-mail at

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