As the entire job application process is becoming increasingly digitized, job applicants are racing to catch up. The year 2017 has seen some resume trends on the rise – like adding hyperlinks to your resume or building it with a template. But also, some resume tips never get old, like keeping it one page, simple, and sweet. Here are some of the best tips on resume-building that we’ve culled – use them to springboard your job search in 2018!
Use a template
Endlessly fiddling around with the margins of your resume on Microsoft Word is now a thing of the past. Why? Templates have arrived! Websites like Etsy allow you to download professionally designed resume templates – all you have to do is add your own information. Your boring document can instantly be transformed into a well-designed, eye-catching professional resume.
Forget the personal statement
Taking up precious resume real estate with a generic statement about your soft skills and interests is a no-no. Let recruiters see what they’re looking for in your resume on their own, instead of trying to pad your image with jargon and obvious statements. Unless you’ve got an executive statement that is really unique, save it for your LinkedIn page.
Emphasize accomplishments, not responsibilities
This requires some creative thought – which totally pays off. You can start making a list of all the responsibilities you had. Then, write next to each of those responsibilities the accomplishments you made in that responsibility. These will be the bullet points you use in your resume.
Handled accounts for public relations firm
Managed 10 accounts in excess of $5 million annually and came in under budget by 10 percent.
Not only is the second statement rich with detail, it shows how much the applicant accomplished during their time, rather than just what their generic role was. It definitely packs more of a punch.
Make it one page
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to fit every single internship, skill, and little detail into your resume. A pruned down resume gives your big accomplishments and roles a place to shine. Also keep in mind that time is something recruiters almost never have an excess of – chances are, they won’t even look at the second page.
Tailor it to applicant tracking systems
While you’d like to think your resume is going straight to a pair of human eyes, it is often first seen by an applicant tracking system, an automated computer program that scans your resume for keywords and weeds out unqualified applicants. If you haven’t been having luck with your resume – this could be one of the biggest tips to save you. Add these keywords to your resume to help it glide through applicant tracking systems.
Create more than one resume
In today’s job market, the strength of your job application comes in its uniqueness. When you’re up against applicant tracking systems, and applicants from all over the country, you need to find a way to stand out in every single job you apply for. While keeping the same basic template, set yourself apart from the pack by tailoring your skills, experience, and interests to every single job you apply for.
As hiring managers are reading resumes in an exclusively digital format, adding hyperlinks is catching on as one of 2017’s biggest resume trends. “A hyperlink is the equivalent of CliffsNotes for your resume. You have the freedom to reference a much larger and more significant item and to expand on a key point,” Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide, told Glassdoor earlier this year. In addition, Cohen recommends making your use of hyperlinks appropriate to the situation, and highlighting them clearly so as to make sure that they are not overlooked.
Tell a story with your resume
A resume isn’t just a collection of lists. It’s where you weave the story of your career trajectory. Highlight the major milestones that show your progress and learning process. Your goal is to draw the reader in, rather than make them feel like they’re reading a simple chronology.
Leave out your basic computer skills
You’re proficient at Microsoft Word and Google Search? Great, so is the rest of the pool of applicants you’re vying for the job against. Adding these skills to your resume is clear evidence that you’re trying to pad your resume because you don’t have enough skills to fill it in. Instead, there are lots of concrete skills that you can pick up quickly before a job interview instead.
And also don’t add your elementary foreign language skills
While you’re at it, leave out the two years of French you took in high school, or the semester of Portuguese you took during your semester abroad. It’s unlikely that you would ever need to use your elementary vocabulary to make a substantial contribution at the job. So unless you’re planning on ramping up your studies of the language before the interview happens, don’t bother to include it.
Revise, revise, revise
Earlier in the year, Glassdoor highlighted the resume of Neel Somani, that got him internship offers at Google, the NSA, and more. “As with most people, my resume has undergone countless revisions,” Somani said. “My biggest piece of advice is to get feedback from as many people as you can, especially who have held positions that you’re interested in.”
Scale emphasis based on importance
There’s no rule that says you have to give each experience on your resume equal weight. In fact, it’s the opposite: you should give more weight to the more important, formative jobs and experiences you have had. Sometimes, less is more, and you can truly polish your resume by completely cutting out the unnecessary jobs, skills, and internships you’ve had that are clogging up valuable space on the page.
Don’t just rely on design
“Pulling up a resume that visualizes what you’re bringing to the table looks impressive. The problem is that in 99% of cases, what I’m left remembering isn’t the person or the accomplishments, but the design wizardry. And that’s a big problem,” recently wrote Anish Majumdar, career coach and professional resume writer. While you may be tempted to turn every skill and expertise you have into a cool infographic, also remember to let the content shine on its own.