New Year, new resume? In the same way you wouldn’t wear outdated clothes to a job interview, you
shouldn’t apply for jobs using an old resume. The styles of resumes are constantly changing, and to
ensure your application gets noticed in today’s competitive job market, it’s important to revise yours
regularly. Below are some of the more recent trends we’re seeing in resume formats.
Keep your resume short
In the past, technical resumes often spanned several pages. Truth is, recruiters are busy. The resumes
that stand out aren’t the ones that go on and on detailing every ounce of experience in great detail. It’s
entirely possible to succinctly cover all of your qualifications in two pages (for executive resumes) or
even one page (for entry-level positions). Remember, you want to give recruiters an overview of your
skills and achievements. Save lengthy story-telling for an interview.
Revise your objective
At the top of traditional resumes was a one-to-two line description of an applicant’s objective, which
basically explained why a candidate wanted the specific position. Modern resumes no longer have this
section. Instead, you can make better use of this space by including a “career summary” and your “areas
The career summary section should be about two to four lines, and provide a concise description of
where you’re at in your career. Next, list six to nine of your qualifications using a bulleted list (format
this in two columns to cut down its length). This list is a great opportunity to highlight keywords from
the job posting that are industry specific and likely to be picked up on by a recruiter’s resume crawler.
Incorporate strong keywords
SEO isn’t just for blogs anymore. As we mentioned, recruiters use resume crawlers to scan through the
hundreds (if not, thousands) of applications they receive. These crawlers look for keywords that are
integral to each position. And, very often, the keywords are pulled directly from the job description. As
you write your resume, be sure to reference the job posting for keywords or skills that you can mention.
Remember, this will differ for each position and employer, so it’s important to do this step for each
application you submit.
Use an appropriate file name
Gone are the days of printed applications. Resumes are completely digital, and something as small as its
file name cannot be overlooked. Keep it professional so that a recruiter who received the document
online or by email won’t be turned away. It’s helpful to include your first and last names in the file name
for easy identification, along with the word “resume.” Omit any version numbers or other information.
Make sure your resume is well formatted
Recruiters could be viewing your resume on any device at any time. From a small smartphone screen to
a smart board in a meeting room, you want to ensure the document displays well every time. A Word
Document is great for writing, but the formatting can often change when someone else views your file.
PDF files help to preserve formatting and ensure your resume remains constant. Go the extra mile
before you submit your file and see how it displays across your own devices. Then, send it to a friend for
an extra set of eyes.
To stand out as a stellar candidate, your resume needs to reflect the current market. From keywords to
basic formatting, making these revisions will go a long way in garnering a recruiter’s attention. How have
you modified your resume to reflect modern trends? Leave your tips below!