I’ve heard from countless job seekers this year who are struggling to write a resume that will help them advance their career. The challenge is that most people are simply too close to their own careers and accomplishments to write about them objectively and compellingly.
If you’re having a hard time writing your resume or aren’t sure your resume will generate interest from employers, here are three quick tips that you can use right now to freshen up your resume so that it’s effective in the 2018 job market.
Culture fit is important to include on your resume.
JobVite’s Recruiter Nation survey reported that 67% of recruiters deem culture fit as an important factor in their hiring decision. You don’t hear much about culture fit when it comes to resume writing, but your resume is a perfect place to start setting the stage for a great culture fit.
- Start by researching the company culture of the organizations that you want to target in your job search.
- Find out what beliefs and values drive their organization.
- If their values align with yours, be sure to include that information within your resume.
Remove words that do not add or communicate value.Part of writing a great resume is including words that communicate great value and really drive the point home, and also excluding those that don’t add value.
The problems comes in with those tricky words that we think are communicating value but unfortunately they’re too vague to tell the employer what we can really do.
Examples of these words include; results, success, professional, accomplished. These words are not inherently bad—it’s just that they don’t tell the employer much about you and the distinct value you offer an employer. Instead, replace these generic phrases with specific terms.
Instead of saying you are results-driven describe the results you deliver with metrics, facts, and figures.
Replace the generic term success with the actual successes you’ve had using specific examples, keywords, and industry terms.
The word professional can be switched with the actual position title that you’re pursuing.
Update your resume with a modern formatIf you haven’t updated your resume in the last two or three years it’s time for an overhaul. Our society has become increasingly more visually driven. Try googling stats around the performance of videos, visuals, and infographics over plain text. Or research what our current attention span is (about 8 seconds … less than a goldfish by the way).
Content-heavy resumes that lack visually engaging elements, design, and color are outdated. It’s time to revamp the design of your resume to include charts, graphs, visuals, color, boxes, shading, borders, and other visual design elements that will engage the reader and make content easily digestible and quicker to consume. If you’re getting an average of only six seconds for an initial scan, use visuals to communicate large chunks of information more quickly. For examples of visuals in resumes here are several resume samples that include color, borders, shading and graphs.
If you’re worried about applicant tracking systems rejecting a resume with charts or other visual designs here are a few ideas:
- Have an ATS-optimized version of your resume that you use when applying through online applicant tracking systems and keep the modern version to email over directly to employers, recruiters, and your network.
- Use only the visual design elements that are acceptable with the majority of applicant tracking systems.
- Check out this free PDF download which includes 15 keys to getting your resume through applicant tracking systems. You can use it to guide you in developing an ATS-optimized version.
- Use color, borders and shading to add a modern touch and visual appeal without compromising the resume’s ability to get through the screening system.