That old adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” applies to many things in life, including Resume Writing. I have carved out some of the most notable of practices in both categories to help you position your resume and job search for 21st century success!
Keyword Rich Content
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have changed the resume game as content now needs to be “searchable.” Integrating the appropriate keywords in your resume, cover letter (and LinkedIn profile) is an important strategy to help ensure your resume will make the cut for a look by a human being. While resume scanning may have improved a hiring manager’s ability to weed out resumes that are not aligned with the required skills or qualifications for a certain job, great candidates may pass through the ATS and never be seen if the right key words are not included in their resume.
Your LinkedIn URL Included in Your Resume Heading
Once your LinkedIn profile is completed, up to date and posted, be sure to include its unique URL within the heading of your resume. A hiring manager interested in learning more about you will want to check out your profile. Make it easy on them and provide it for them, and include it on all your job search documents. Not sure how to customize your URL to improve its visual appeal?
Check out https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/87?query=create%20custom%20URL
and do it today!
Complementary LinkedIn Profile
A LinkedIn profile is a must for any career-minded professional today. Even if you are not in the market for a new position today, LinkedIn has quickly become the first name in networking and professional development as well as job postings. An effective LinkedIn profile should complement a well-crafted resume, not mimic it in its entirety, and create a level of interest that encourages hiring manager or recruiter to want to know more about you. A professional quality, and visually clear picture is one of the best ways to demonstrate the positive and approachable aspects of your personal brand.
Visually Appealing Layout
Today’s best-in-class resume is one that showcases your skills, successes and experience in a manner that captures the reader’s attention and keeps them engaged in reading your document. Because of the volume of applications that can be received for any job posting, recruiters or hiring managers spend an average of six– yes, that is “6”–seconds visually scanning a resume. If you fail to gain their immediate interest, your resume may quickly end up in the “C” pile and the job has likely passed you by.
One Size Fits All Resumes: One size as in One Page, One Style and One Format
A resume should be as many pages as it takes to effectively showcase your skills, successes and experiences for any given job, if every word is value-added. Seasoned hiring managers and recruiters know fluff when they see it, so streamline your words, formatting and style to reflect the highlights only. Consider the industry or job you are applying for when selecting a format for your resume. Resumes aimed at creative jobs vs public sector vs tech jobs may call for a varied approach to speak most pointedly to your specific audience.
Your Home Address
A formal job application will require you to disclose your home address. It’s no one’s business where you live until they are interested in you for a job opening. A hiring manager or recruiter will not send you a letter via snail mail to set up an interview. They will call you, email you or reach out through LinkedIn.
LAN Line Phone Number
Do you even still have a “home phone?” If so, are you available at it if a hiring manager or recruiter should try to reach you about an application you submitted? Even if you are, hiring managers are unlikely to go through alternative phone numbers to reach a candidate. Provide the best one to reach you at and make sure your voice mail message is professional and succinct if you are not able to answer it when they call.
The Phrase “References Available Upon Request”
The expectation for any position you apply for is that you have professional references that can attest to your past performance. Even students and entry level job seekers have teachers, mentors or community leaders that can speak on their behalf. Adding this line falls into the category of “fluff” that I touched on earlier.
While these new practices may not seem significant, failure to keep up on current trends and best practices can convey the message that you are out of touch, out of date, or not respectful of what the reader is looking for in your job search documents.
If you are a job seeker who has have been out of the job market for more than a few years, you may be caught off guard by the some of the changes and trends that have occurred. Individually, none of these updates are difficult, and collectively, they are impactful.
Don’t put yourself out of the running for a job because your resume is past its prime. Follow these tips and get back in the game today!