6 Ways To Modernize Your Resume


Make an impression. Keep it to one page. Proofread before you send. Eliminate buzzwords.

You’ve probably heard one — or all — of these resume writing suggestions at one time or another, and it’s smart to consider them while you’re preparing for your job search. But, in this fast-paced job market, job seekers need a more modernized resume to really capture the eye of today’s technologically-savvy hiring managers.

Whether you’re about to graduate and enter the workforce or it’s finally time to find a new job, use these six tips to modernize your resume and make an impression on hiring managers:

1. Use keywords.

The harsh reality for job seekers is many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen candidates. The best way to get your resume in front of human eyes is to use position-specific keywords.

Review job postings for the positions you are looking for and find the responsibilities or skill-related terms that keep coming up. Once you have your keywords, make sure to incorporate them into your resume to ensure it passes the ATS screening process.

2. Customize your resume and keywords for each position.

General keywords are a great start, but tailoring your resume for each position you apply to will take you across the finish line. Roles like “Account Executive” or “Social Media Manager” may mean different things at different organizations, so be sure that once you have your general keywords figured out, you take the time to add the organization-specific keywords that will get you an interview.

3. Lose the photo.

You have six seconds before a recruiter moves on to the next resume in the pile, according to TheLadders 2012 recruiter eye tracking study, so design your resume to make the most out of that time.

Since recruiters will see your photo when they inevitably review your LinkedIn profile, make sure they don’t waste precious resume review time focusing on your photo instead of your skills…take it off your resume.

4. Add your social media links.

Since 93 percent of recruiters look at a candidate’s social media profiles before making a hiring decision anyway, add links to your profiles to your resume.

Highlight your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profile links in your resume’s contact section or in the footer with their respective icons. By doing so, you’re showing hiring managers that you are confident in how you portray yourself online and have nothing to hide.

5. Lose the references.

While the time may come for a prospective employer to contact your references, it won’t be when they first review your resume. Wait until an employer asks for references to volunteer them. You’ll have more room to highlight your achievements on your resume and more time to contact your references and let them know to expect a call when the employer asks.

6. Add callout boxes.

Imagine you’re a hiring manager looking at the seventy-fifth resume with no text-breaks, and you have 100 more to go. Sounds exhausting, right? At this point, anything that looks a little different will capture your eye.

You don’t want your resume to bore hiring managers. Bullet points and line breaks can be effective, but even those look the same after dozens of resumes. Consider adding one or two callout boxes that highlight important information to break up the monotony of the typical resume.

When used together with bullet points and line breaks, these boxes can be effective tools for sharing an interesting statistic from your work history, highlighting a specific certification, or quickly summarizing a relevant project.

What other tips do you have for job seekers who want to modernize their resumes?