It’s 2018, and while there have been many technological advances in the past five to 10 years, the dreaded resume is still here to stay.
While most recruiters haven’t yet turned to video clips or other high-tech means to screen potential candidates, there are still some significant changes that current job seekers need to make to their resumes in order to succeed.
Use a clean, modern template and font
Your resume should look crisp and sleek both on your computer screen and printed out. Forget the fonts of yesteryear, like Times New Roman. Forget the graphics and fancy bullet points, too. You want your resume to resemble a modern, minimalist style. If you plan on submitting your resume through an online application platform, a simple style will read better than a complicated template.
Pack a quick, powerful punch
According to Live Career, recruiters spend an average six seconds reviewing an applicant’s resume. That’s it: You have six seconds to convince a busy recruiter that you are worth a closer look. Don’t start with a stale “Objective.” Instead, jump into your resume with a compact and powerful sentence or two about your experience, and follow with your most relevant achievements and skills.
Many experts recommend a one-page resume. Even if you have a lot of experience, remember how fast recruiters move. If they’re only taking a few seconds to review your CV, they may not even bother to turn the page. Pack your best hits on a single page and expand any additional experience you’d like to share on your LinkedIn profile. You also want to keep your experience relevant. In other words, if you’re going for a marketing job, leave your part-time bartending gig out. (See also: 10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search)
Forgo your address, cover letter, and references
Good news! You can toss out your address, cover letter, and references along with your objective. Instead of a physical address, include your LinkedIn profile url. As for references, if a recruiter wants you to send them, they will ask for them — so don’t waste space on your one-pager to mention that they are available upon request.
Finally, don’t completely say goodbye to your cover letter. It is a good idea to keep a well-written cover letter in your saved documents, but you might discover that many more companies these days don’t require a cover letter to apply. This is simply because many people don’t have time to pore over a cover letter, no matter how brilliant it is. (See also: 7 Things You Should Never Include in Your Cover Letter)
Don’t forget to shine on LinkedIn
A common mistake of job hunters is to copy and paste their resume on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to highlight your best self professionally beyond what your paper resume offers. Don’t let it be boring. Instead, feature your achievements and expertise in your field through your profile, articles you can write and post, and recommendations. Be sure to follow notable people in your line of work and befriend recruiters who are employed at your dream companies. (See also: 30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired)
Use keywords to get past automatic screening bots
Think your well-crafted resume is going to be read by a thoughtful human? Think again. Many companies rely on automated screening bots to help weed out poor applicant choices. The point of this technology is to save recruiters and human resource employees time, but sometimes the process can trash worthwhile applications before human eyes even have a chance to see it.
To avoid your resume from becoming digital trash, use similar keywords in your resume that are found in the job listing. The point isn’t to keyword stuff — this might get you past the automated bot, but it won’t get you an interview. Instead, if you have the required skills needed for a job posted, make sure your resume reflects it by using similar keywords and phrases. (See also: Almost Half of Job Applicants Make This Same Foolish Mistake)
Career expert Liz Ryan suggests job hunters forget the old-school advice of sounding like a robot or drone when describing current and past job roles. Instead, grab recruiters’ attention by sounding human. She shared an example on Forbes of how to do this:
Materials Director 2006—present
Acme is the USA’s largest stick dynamite maker, a family-owned, $10M business. I was brought on board to start a Materials Management function as the company grew outside the Southwest to serve the entire country.
She stresses that this method would show a hiring manager who she worked for (and the significance), the job she was hired to do, and what she accomplished.