By Faye Katz
Just like fads and trends are always changing in the world of fashion, resume styles are constantly in flux as well. Sending an outdated-looking resume to an employer screams: I am an outdated candidate! It will be as obvious as wearing yesterday’s style.
When I google “professional resume templates” I am shocked to find many sites displaying “Objective” on every resume. That trend ended at least 10 years ago!
In a competitive job market, companies get flooded with resumes leaving employers with little time to devote to each one. Here are some pointers to get hiring managers to notice yours:
- Lead with a Job Title, a branding statement and a brief summary (2-3 lines)
- Include relevant details only if they pertain to your current job search
- Add measurable results, numbers and metrics if at all possible
- Write accomplishments in headline format
- Clearly state how you have added value for previous employers
To speed up the hiring process, many employers now use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which are automated software programs that pre-screen and rank applicants by scanning their resumes for keywords that indicate they may be a good fit for the position. This helps narrow down the pool of potential candidates.
Here are some strategies for improving your ranking in an ATS system:
- Gather multiple job descriptions to find industry keywords
- Create a list of expertise displaying keywords from your career that match the job ads
- Scan your resume and the job description into jobscan.co to see how your resume matches up to each job ad
Looking back at the resumes I wrote 2, 3 or 4 years ago, I can spot so many things I would change today to modernize the look and calibrate it for the Applicant Tracking Systems. So, if you think you can get away with using a resume that served you well 2+ years ago, chances are, it’s time for an update.
Faye Katz is a professional resume writer for the JCS Career Center.
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance.