Writing a resume is a critical life skill. Even if you don’t quite fit the job requirements, a good resume can get you hired, while a poor resume won’t get you more than a first glance. As the business world evolves, so do standards of resume writing. Below are a few key tips for writing resumes in 2017.
Know What You Want
There’s no such thing as a universal resume. When you apply to a new position, think about the experiences in your arsenal which make you a good candidate for the position. Every resume you submit should be slightly different and tailored for the specific job in question. If you want to be a nurse, for example, you’re not going to use the same resume you used to apply for a job at a video game store.
Get Rid of Dead Weight
A general rule of thumb for resumes is that shorter is better — 1 page is the general rule. This is only true, though, if you can still include the relevant information in that amount of space. Don’t skimp on things like job history just so you can get all of the ‘classic’ resume elements on one page. Look at sites like Twitter for inspiration when it comes to engagement — keep things short, sweet and punchy.
Make Sure You Highlight What is Relevant Today
Listing job history is important, but employers are becoming less interested in what you’ve done in the past and more interested in what you can bring to the table today. Omit any job references that are irrelevant to the position you are applying for and replace them with relevant skills learned during your education. The skills section has become incredibly important in a changing economy, so it would be advantageous to place that section at the top of your resume.
Know Who’s Looking
When past generations put together a resume, they were putting together something that a human being in a hiring position was required to read all the way through. When you put together a resume, though, the odds are that you’re constructing a document for a program to scan through before a human being will get anywhere near your resume. As such, it’s important to examine hiring advertisement for key terms and to use them in your own document. If there are specific terms about skills, abilities, or requirements, make sure to use that same language in your resume. It may help the program that sorts the documents to flag yours for human review.
Enhance Your Brand
Your brand is one of the most important assets your can bring to your potential employers (if relevant). Make sure that you add links to your website and (appropriate) social media handles for certain jobs. Omit these in fields that tend to trend older, of course, but make sure that you emphasize your ability manage your own brand. Instead of an objective section, add in the aforementioned links along with a connection to your LinkedIn page.
Make Your Resume Visually Engaging
“Visually engaging” does not mean that your resume should include a photo of yourself. In fact, some HR departments have a policy to immediately reject resumes with attached images in order to avoid the risk of being accused of discrimination. Instead, make your resume visually appealing with bold headers, crisp organization, and a skimmable layout.
The tips above can help you to craft unique resumes that will get your foot in the door at the job of your choice. Remember, you are going to be submitting just one of many documents that your potential employer will read, including the cover letter. If you can follow the basic rules, you should be able to make it past the first cut. What you do past that point will be up to your experience and your interview skills.