Top resume trends for 2017
Before you begin crafting the content of your resume, you should decide how best to present your information. Most hiring managers and recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for each open position and you need to put your best foot forward to get noticed and speak directly to their needs.
Remember to write for your audience, not only for a particular position. You don’t have much time to make an impression: some studies show you have 6 seconds before the manager moves on to the next resume. Address how you will create results for them and make their life more productive in hiring you.
In the header, be sure to list not only your name, but your email address and social media profiles. Make sure that your social media profiles are polished and ready to be looked at by potential employers.
Your content must be well-organized, easy to read and highlight the important skills and experience they want to see. Don’t forget to name your resume file with “YOUR NAME-Resume” and be sure it’s in the requested file format (i.e. .docx, .pdf, .rtf, etc.). This sounds like a given, but you’d be amazed at how many people do not use their full name on the file. There’s no need to abbreviate anything, add the date or list the position you’re applying for. Be sure to follow the directions exactly as they are given in the application guidelines.
It’s important to follow the current trends in resume writing. Employers expect you to know that and it shows you’re keeping up – no one reads a 10-page resume anymore. Here are some tips to prepare your best resume for the coming year:
1. Keep it tight and brief: you don’t need to list all the schools you’ve attended, only the most relevant ones and your best credentials.
2. Use Bullets and Numbers: writing paragraphs is out of date. Simply list your skills and accomplishments. Employers are pressed for time and are looking for specifics.
3. One page only: you have to be able to summarize your skills and experience succinctly without omitting anything important. Work on condensing your resume to the most relevant items.
4. No colorful or display fonts: no need to be creative with your resume’s appearance. A professional document is always in black ink, making it easier to read. Also, use a classic font that is available on all computers and doesn’t distract from the content you’re presenting.
5. Proven experience is a must: you must be able to provide details and evidence of the skills and experience you’re claiming. Never fabricate anything on your resume.
6. Use the keywords: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are popular computerized systems that pick up particular words in your resume. Not using those words can result in your resume being discarded before the hiring manager ever sees it.
7. Emphasize the value you bring: don’t just state what your skills are… help the recruiter understand how your skills are useful to them in this position.
8. Show evidence of Emotional Intelligence (EI): an emerging trend in hiring is looking not only for skills and experience, but who will fit in and be a strong team member. Show that you are able to self-assess your strengths and weaknesses, stay cool in a crisis and be empathetic to your fellow employees by sharing any team-building skills, leadership of a team goal and/or communication skills to management and peers.
WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE
Forget the fancy bells and whistles. Some people think it helps them to stand out when they have gimmicks, videos or graphic resumes. Unless you’re applying for a creative job, all the embellishments are simply unwanted distractions. It may seem you’re more interested in how your resume looks than the content it contains.
No need for the “objective” statement at the top of your resume. In the past, this was a one or two-line sentence outlining your goals. With today’s emphasis on concise, summarized content, you can skip this step and focus on the bullets that showcase your accomplishments.
Leave out any list of references and their contact information. At this point, employers know that if you get an interview and progress through the hiring process, you can provide names of those who will vouch for you. Indicating that “references are available upon request” just takes up space that could be used to convey more relevant information for this job. If you are asked to provide references as a part of the job application process, be strategic about who you choose and make sure they are able to speak directly about your strengths or accomplishments.
DO RESUME FADS WORK?
According to Angela Smith (Director of Human Resources & Career Services at Burlington College in Vermont, who also holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification and is a sought after consultant and speaker on resume writing and job searching), there are ways to present your resume that work and ways that are simply fads and gimmicks. She finds that most HR directors are not fond of gimmicks.
Not all fads will create the impression you intend. Here are some examples:
- Functional Resume: when you focus only on your skills and accomplishments, it doesn’t provide any context to your work experience. Recruiters are skeptical because this approach is often used when there are gaps in your employment or flaws you’re attempting to hide.
- Video Resume: this approach can be valuable if you’re applying for a customer-facing role, but it has to be done right and have good production values. Also, many videos are blocked by company firewalls or policies that prevent employees form watching videos in the office. They can also take much longer to download and watch and recruiters just don’t want to spend the time.
- Multi-media Resume: infographic or slide show resumes can showcase your personality, but sometimes give the impression you’re not taking the application seriously. This approach may be too far outside the box for the position you’re seeking.
The main thing to keep in mind as you prepare your 2017 resume is to demonstrate that you’re in touch with changes and shifts in your industry. Showcase your knowledge with posts on social media and position yourself as a resource in your area of expertise. It’s all about showing your potential employer how your skills and experience will benefit them. That’s what makes your resume effective.
And bear in mind that your online presence is more important than ever. Spend time cleaning it up and make sure you’re not mixing your personal and professional profiles. Take down anything that you would not want to be seen by colleagues or employers. Your online presence is becoming your resume.