Resumes Then and Now: For Experienced Job Seekers in Career Transition

Brittany Richter
Careerminds Consultant

If you’re new to career transition, but not new to the working world, updating your resume is likely to be one of the first steps you take in the process. But before you go any further, much has changed since the last time you looked at your resume. Nowadays resumes have more creative freedom, need a little something “more” and accomplishments and results are the name of the game. Below is an outline of everything you need to know in order to bring yourself up to speed before preparing your resume.

Types of Resumes and When to Use Them:

  • Chronological – Use this if you have a strong, solid work history. It should really be called “reverse chronological” since your most recent experiences are listed first.
  • Functional – This focuses on skills and experience. If you have gaps or are changing careers, this is the format you should probably use.Combination – Skills and experience are listed first, followed by employment history. This both gives recruiters the format they prefer and you are able to list your most relevant skills, experience, and attributes at the top.
  •  Mini – Brief summary of career highlights and your qualifications. This is great for networking and for providing to references or recommenders who may not have time to go through your entire resume.  

The Biggest Differences Between Then and Now:

  • Accomplishments over job duties: Listing your job duties is not enough anymore. It’s important that you list your individual accomplishments associated with each position as it will better communicate the benefits your new prospective employer would gain by hiring you.
  • Quantify Your Results: Anything and everything you can! It is crucial that numbers beyond your telephone number show up on your resume. What percentage of growth did you impact? What percentage of efficiency did you recognize? What percentage of sales increased year after year? And write them as numbers, not as words. You can click here if you need more help with quantifying your resume.
  •  Tailoring your resume: You should have a different, targeted copy of your resume for each job you apply for. The targeted resume is becoming increasingly important. Each job description, although maybe similar, is different from the next and it is important that you research what that position calls for and incorporate it in to your resume. Look for key words in the position description and use them.
  •  Does your resume come to life? More Creative Freedom: Depending on what industry you are a part of and the specific position you apply for will determine how much creative freedom you have and how important it is for your resume. Nowadays video and PowerPoint resumes are not all that uncommon, but only necessary if it is related to the position you are seeking. For your reference, VisualCV.com
  • The Internet: Be sure to post your resume on job boards and social media sites like Linkedin. But remember that if you are currently employed but seeking employment elsewhere and do not want your current employer to know, do not post your resume or information about changing jobs on these sites. And make sure you keep it updated. Job boards sort resumes based on modified date – don’t let it get pushed to the bottom of the virtual pile.
  •  Word Choice: The words that were considered “Power Words” 10+ years ago are now over-used. It’s important to use precise, quality adjectives in moderation. Click here for an updated list.
  • You need more than one version: Start with a long resume including anything you could possibly want to include. For each specific job start with this long resume, eliminating anything that is irrelevant and adding specifics for that job.

What about my experience from 10+ years ago?

It is recommended that if you have more than fifteen years of experience, that your most recent positions and jobs be explained in terms of accomplishments, but that the others simply serve as placeholders. The first few job experiences you had need not be explained in great detail. List the company, your title and dates you worked there- that’s it. It serves as a great way to show stability and continuity, but the details aren’t important. It is likely that what you did then, you would do vastly differently now. Remember that your resume is about highlighting what is important to them, not what is most important to you.


The Branded Resume


  Here is a glimpse of a branded resume cover sheet. This gives the recruiter a more visual representation of your resume. If they don’t have time, or don’t take the time, to look at your resume and read each detail, this is a great way to get their attention and promote your professional brand. Visualize your past and current employers and associations, feature recommendations from Linkedin, and summarize your key accomplishments and attributes. This will show the recruiter that you are up on the times and differentiate you from other candidates that don’t have this.










Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.

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