The resume strategy you used 10 years ago is not the same strategy used today. In fact, the resume you wrote even just a year or two ago likely needs to be tuned-up beyond just adding in a new role and/or additional achievements and responsibilities. This is especially important for those re-entering the workforce or considering a career change.
Here are 4 main examples of how the resume is changing. Take note. Updating your resume could make the difference between “We’d like for you to come in for an interview” and “Unfortunately, you are not what we are looking for.”
1. Old Strategy: Including an objective.
New Strategy: While the drumbeat that ‘objectives are outdated’ has been beating for several years now, it has gotten even stronger recently.
Instead of an objective, create a resume headline indicating the opportunity you are targeting and/or include a ‘brand’ statement suggesting why your offering of value is stronger than the other candidates.
2. Old Strategy: Focusing your writing energy on creating a keyword-dense resume.
New Strategy: While it is important to speak the language of your target reader, it is not necessary to calculate the number of keywords and get entangled ensuring every iteration of the word, “accountant” is used; e.g., accountant, accounting, account management, account supervision, etc.
Instead, take the time to specifically identify your target audience and role. From there, ensure you know the requirements–as best as possible–the hiring manager seeks to fulfill in that position. This includes hard skills and soft skills and cultural traits. Locate sample positions and perform keyword searches on those samples to determine which words bubble up.
Make note of those words and keep them in mind when writing your resume, but don’t force specific words into your resume for fear of your resume being passed over by an electronic sorter or a human being doing the vetting. The more focused your resume, the more likely the right vocabulary will be woven in that will appeal to human and electronic resume reviewers.
3. Old Strategy: A resume is just the facts; anything else is left for the interview conversation.
New Strategy: Modern resumes are stories rich in context and detail, where you are the main character. Your colleagues, peers, those who report to you and those to whom you report all are part of the cast of characters.
Building rich mini-stories that weave in strategies, actions and results that you spearheaded or were instrumental in achieving, alongside the rest of your cast, creates momentum. Capturing the reader’s attention this way – and through stories specially crafted to resonate with their needs – deepens the relationship with your potential hiring manager.
4. Old Strategy: Follow up the uploaded or emailed resume with a hard copy.
New Strategy: You may need a printed resume (or several copies) during the interview process; however the initial focus of applying online and/or submitting your resume to a potential hiring manager or recruiter rarely requires a hard copy. The focus now is on digital presentation, online. This actually is liberating for most careerists. In addition to the ease of connectivity, digital resumes are easy for recipients to scroll through on their mobile device or desktop computer.