Resume writing rules to follow
Contributed, Dec. 28, 2018, 2:46 p.m.
When professionals are ready to take a new step in their careers, it's wise to revisit their old resumes and see what can be done to update them for the current day and age. This is especially true for people who may have been out of the job-seeking arena for some time.
Writing a resume can be complicated. The rules for finding a new job are continually evolving, and resumes remain a big component of that process. The following are some current resume trends that will help professionals stand out from the masses.
Design your resume so it will look good whether it's viewed on a screen or a mobile phone or printed on paper. Classic serif style fonts can make a resume seem dated, so select modern fonts that are crisp. The idea is for the resume to look balanced and clear, without being overdone with modifications, like italics and bold lettering. However, a spot of colour could provide much-needed attention.
Be brief yet effective
A concise design is key. Many recruiters spend little to no time reviewing the hordes of resumes they receive. In fact, automated resume bots may initially screen the documents to thin the crowd. According to data from the 12th annual Mystery Job Candidate survey by CareerXRoads, the average recruiter spends six seconds looking at a resume. If a resume is lengthy or doesn't attract attention, it will likely be ignored. Stick to a single-page and make sure wording is brief but meaty.
Keep juicy details up top
Format the resume so the most pertinent information is within the top one-third of the document. Beef up a summary statement and use it in lieu of an objective. Make sure that summary includes keywords that promote your skills and experience to potentially lure the recruiter into reading more.
Tweak job titles
Mimic phrasing from the job listing to beat the bots and get resumes flagged for review. Slightly change job position titles so they mirror the wording used. For example, if a recruiter is looking for a “financial account manager,” and you have the experience, list your title as something like “Senior manager of new financial accounts.”
Who you know
Landing a new job is often about what you know, but getting a foot in the door is also largely influenced by who you know. Include any professional groups to which you belong or alumni associations. Who knows? The recruiter may have the same alma mater, and you can bond over your shared mascot.
Keywords, phrasing, formatting, and having the right skills for the job can ensure a resume is seen by a recruiter, and perhaps even lead to a new career.